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Jan 19, 2012

Do Renewables REALLY Squander Land and Resources?

 

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed today, Small is Beautiful—So Go Nuclear, the author claims that the land-use footprint of renewable sources like solar, wind and biofuels negate their benefits.

Beyond the omission of efficiency as a key solution to transitioning the transportation sector off oil as described in Reinventing Fire and to reducing demands on our electric system, the author’s erroneous conclusions about land-use for wind versus nuclear were
addressed by Amory Lovins and Daniel
Kammen earlier this year.

Amory Lovins: Renewable Energy’s “Footprint” Myth

“Land footprint seems an odd criterion for choosing energy systems: the amounts of land at issue are not large, because global renewable energy flows are so vast that only a tiny fraction of them need be captured ...

"Nonetheless, many nuclear advocates argue that renewable electricity has far too big a land 'footprint' to be environmentally acceptable, while nuclear power is preferable because it uses orders of magnitude less land. If we assume that land-use is an important metric, a closer look reveals the opposite is true.” Read more

Daniel Kammen: Honest Assessment of our Energy Future

“Critics of the green energy economy often omit key information from consideration in making arguments about the material requirements of energy technologies…Those of us who have done the math and thus are convinced that a cleaner, safer, and more durable energy infrastructure is worth pursuing, and can be achieved, know that it will be built on a diverse platform of energy technologies.” Read more

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