By Roy L Hales
The joint study from Stanford University and UC Riverside reads like a report card. The authors recognized that, “solar energy has one of the greatest climate change mitigation potentials” of all renewable energy sources. It can play a leading role in helping the United States reach its’ goal of reducing emissions to 80% of 1990 greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This would require covering a great deal of land surface. Using current technology, close to 71,428 square kilometres (44,383 sq. miles), or an area roughly comparable to South Carolina, could be covered with panels. Rebecca R. Hernandez et al examined more than 160 sites in California to find out how utility scale solar impacts the land.
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