What is the area needed to power the world using solar alone?

What is the area needed to power the world using solar alone?

How many square kilometers do you think is the surface area required to power the whole world with zero carbon emissions using solar solutions alone? Hint – it’s tiny!

Land Art Generator creates infographics to explain energy production and consumption, used by the International Energy Agency and other institutions.

Their research shows that if you placed all the solar panels in different regions side by side the amount of surface area needed for enough solar panels to power the whole world is a lot less than one might think.

Based on actual consumption going back as far as 1980 the projected number of square kilometers needed for enough solar panels to power the whole world is, based on worst case scenarios…

496,805 square kilometers!

That’s not that much considering the whole landmass. By comparison…

  • There are 1.2 million square kilometers of farmland in China alone.
  • The Sahara Desert is 9,064,958 square kilometers, or 18 times the total required area to fuel the world.
  • A typical golf course is around one square kilometer and there are over 40,000 of those all over the world. 

Their infographic illustrates this to scale. Click on the image below to open the infographic in full size. 

Land Art Generator’s accompanying notes.

“Areas are calculated based on an assumption of 20% operating efficiency of collection devices and a 2000 hour per year natural solar input of 1000 watts per square meter striking the surface. Nineteen areas are distributed on the map approximating proportional areas based on 2009 usage. In practice these would be distributed across many installations from rooftops to megawatt arrays, localizing production as much as possible. The large square in the Saharan Desert (1/4 of the overall 2030 required area) is sufficient to power all of Europe and North Africa. The definition of “power” covers the fuel required to run all electrical consumption, all machinery, and all forms of transportation. It is based on the US Department of Energy statistics of worldwide Btu consumption and estimates the 2030 usage (678 quadrillion Btu) to be 44% greater than that of 2008”

 

Next Steps

Acknowledgments

Further reading

The original article pulled from their archives explains the rationale and the above comparisons. Link

Waste Heat Capture

Waste Heat Capture

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all over the world, heat is constantly escaping from plant and property and is simply being lost as a waste of energy and a waste of money. 

Having the ability to instead capture and convert that wasted heat into ‘new’ electricity you no longer need to purchase from your energy supplier is obviously a very green technology solution that will reduce your annual electricity costs and carbon footprint very quickly.

Fossil fuel energy is expensive

By harvesting and re-using the energy that is currently escaping to the atmosphere better value for money is achieved.

Capturing and converting this waste energy into useable electricity reduces the amount of ‘new’ electricity you have to purchase in from your energy supplier.

Doing so on-site reduces your reliance on the National Grid.

After extracting the necessary heat energy required for electricity generation, the residual heat can be used to provide additional heating and hot water needs.

Captured heat is environmentally friendlier

As well as the financial savings, waste heat energy capture and conversion is a cleaner tech that can run constantly and is not dependent on the weather, it just uses the waste heat you are bleeding away anyway. 

With zero emissions of its own, this technology helps reduce your company’s carbon footprint by reducing emissions already expended – with almost instant green credentials for your company.

A proven technology with many advantages

Waste heat capture and conversion is not a new technology, waste-to-energy solutions were in play back in the 1800’s. The various solutions continue to develop and evolve and the benefits continue to improve. 

  • Comparatively lower cost per kW of energy produced.
  • Smaller footprints with greater operating efficiencies than before
  • A long system lifespan

What about costs?

This clean technology solution will help you reduce your operating expenses by reducing your annual electricity costs. Even though the annual savings may be substantial, the capital cost of adoption may be a barrier, explaining why some companies defer this ‘no-brainer’ of a solution with all of its advantages for the future and keeping their own capital in reserve or for other goals. 

However, there are other ways to cover the project’s capital costs other than from the company’s operating capital. Business can take advantage of our various funding [i] and finance facilities which, depending on criteria such as system size and the business’s financial health, can cover up to 100% of the hardware, installation, and commissioning. The cost of this funding is simply offset against the electricity bill savings.  instead of as an additional operating expense. The business still enjoys lower electricity bills from as soon as the project is switched on. Those savings jump up dramatically once the project cost has been covered.

We can provide you with a tailored Initial Impact Assessment and Financial Savings Report in which we can provide you with your options projected energy savings during and after the project and the impact it will have on your carbon footprint. 

More information

You can visit our generic waste heat recovery page which includes an introduction to Organic Rankine Cycling, a waste to energy technology that was developed in 1950’s. That page also introduces ORC and Advanced ORC from our preferred partners and ORC specialists ORCogen.

Next Steps

We will happily answer any questions you may have. You can arrange a call-back at a suitable time by:

Get a free tailored report for your property – Request

Solar forecasted as the cheapest source for UK electricity needs

Solar forecasted as the cheapest source for UK electricity needs

The UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has forecasted large-scale solar power generation as the cheapest form of electricity generation in the near future.

The analysis looked at solar PV, onshore wind, offshore wind and combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT).

The department’s “Electricity Generation Costs 2020” report predicts that commercial solar generation will cost less than onshore and offshore wind, and even half that of gas turbine alternatives.

 

Image: CAPEX estimates for large scale solar, onshore and offshore wind and gas turbines from 2025 to 2040

Solar industry view

Chris Hewett, chief executive of the Solar Trade Association stated: “The industry has known for a long time that large-scale solar is one of the cheapest power technologies available today, and we are pleased that this has now been officially recognised.”

UK Governments view

The UK Government recently called for evidence to support the belief that renewable generation could quadruple in total capacity over the next thirty years or so. Modelling with the CAPEX of solar PV projected to fall, the Government is considering the potential for substantial solar PV capacity growth in the coming years.

The long awaited Energy White Paper has now been published, stating that the UK has set a world-leading net zero target making it the first major economy to do so, and stipulating that setting a target is not enough, we need to achieve it.

The white paper opens with the statements…

“We are on the cusp of a global Green Industrial Revolution”.

“The Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan has set out the measures that will help ensure the UK is at the forefront of this revolution, just as we led the first over two centuries ago.”

Further reading

Acknowledgements

Image credits: All the above images generated in-house

Next Steps

  • Do you have any questions about how much we can reduce your annual energy bills? We would be happy to answer them – arrange a call-back
  • It costs nothing to request a tailored green energy impact assessment report for your commercial property – Request
  • Is funding better than CAPEX – we believe it is
  • Subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates.
Batteries helping to make fossil fuels obsolete

Batteries helping to make fossil fuels obsolete

Battery based storage solutions are helping to make fossil fuels obsolete by addressing the issue of intermittency of sunlight and wind.

California appears to be leading from the front in the effort to balance the intermittency of renewable energy in electric grids with utility-scale energy storage batteries. A 250-megawatt system recently went online in San Diego, a 100-megawatt installation is nearing completion in Long Beach and another 1820megawatt plant should be switched during 2021.

Almost as if California is setting an example, the rest of the world is following closely behind. A 409-megawatt system has recently been announced in Florida and a 320-megawatt plant is being built near London. Lithuania is building a 200-megawatt energy storage facility and Chilli, too with a 112-megawatt storage bank to supplement their renewable energy installations.

It’s not just utility-scale projects

It’s not just solar grids, smart grids, etc. that require energy storage as part of the renewable energy technology mix. 24-hour demand for electricity needs to be maintained when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing applies to all renewable energy installations whether they are large residential or commercial properties, or even micro-grids as in industrial estates, business parks, airports, etc. Intelligent energy storage is an essential part of any green energy project 

How can we help you?

All of our installations include the recommended option to include a back-up, emergency, reserve energy option. Typically these are in the form of battery banks, but there are other energy storage options available depending on the particular needs of the project and the client’s preferences.

For UK clients, our solar and battery team, who are members of the RECC are experts in the installation of solar PV systems and battery storage solutions, servicing the whole of the UK. Our suppliers enable us to offer the best quality panels and products for fully backed insured installations with QANW.

For large-scale commercial projects both in the UK and overseas our larger projects team can provide various types of bespoke energy storage solutions from established and emerging technologies to suit each project’s particular requirements. 

  • Enquiries are cost and commitment-free.
  • For clients funding their own projects, no deposits are required, and no payments until completion.
  • For clients who prefer not to use their own capital, we have a number of funding options that facilitate our clients adopting renewable energy without capital expenditure and still reducing their energy bills and carbon footprint from “day 1”

More information

We can answer any of your questions – simply drop us a line at info@hausch.energy and our subject matter expert will get back to you quickly

Acknowledgements

Image credits
Image by ‘boscorelli’
licenced from Adobe

Why is Solar Energy considered the best option?

Why is Solar Energy considered the best option?

Why is solar energy a better solution than other existing fossil fuel or renewable sources.

It nearly all stems from solar anyway!

Almost all of the energy we have on earth comes either directly or indirectly from the sun. Think of wood charcoal, coal, petroleum, wind, waves and natural gas as stored sunlight and you have an inkling that solar is the best alternative.

Location plays a part as many commercial properties do not have direct access to Solar’s competitors, wave, wind, etc. However, most properties have access to sunlight.

Solar energy can be regarded as the best alternative because it’s the easiest, cheapest, simplest, most widely available technology to deploy. To get started with solar energy you need a very small investment, you don’t need a windy location, or to be located next to a stream or body of water. Solar is easily scalable so you can start with a small array and just keep adding panels, even in the hundreds. The same technology used to build a small solar array can be used to build a megawatt solar farm. The same concepts apply albeit with more complexity.

Solar energy is a renewable, reliable and sustainable source of clean energy. A good quality solar-powered system is an investment for 25 years.

But what about the costs of going solar?

Solar energy has become more cost-effective than “regular” or standard electricity. Installing solar panels is cheaper than other energy resources such as coal, natural gas or other fossil fuel options. 

Although generating your own electricity on-site is cheaper than buying from the National Grid, businesses are put off due to the capital expense of installing and maintaining the system when measured against the pay-back period until the savings exceed the project costs.  

The Plug – The Hausch Solution

We have a number of fee-free solutions which require zero capital expenditure, providing all-inclusive ‘self-funding’* projects requiring no capital expenditure but still providing reduced energy bills and a lowe carbon footprint from ‘day one’

Thinking about “Going Solar”

  • If you are a UK based business with up to 11,000 square metres of roof area (about the same size as Trafalgar Square) and you want to reduce your annual electricity bills and carbon footprint sooner rather than later without the need to invest your own capital and with no need for planning permission then you can submit a non-cost and commitment enquiry form on this UK SME Solar Scheme page.
  • If you have a larger site in the UK and/or you want to add other tech to the mix such as Waste Heat Recovery, Geothermal, Wind CHP etc, then this is the best page to read next. 
  • OR, if you are not sure about your needs and requirements we are very happy to answer any questions and give you some ideas. You can call us on 

Notes
*The cost of the installation is met from a percentage of the reduced energy. Once the costs have been covered you receive the full energy bill savings.

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