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[deleted] t1_j5gtzox wrote

"Energy efficient" is an odd term here, though. Energy per area? Sure, fully agree. I never claimed that solar/wind use less land than nuclear (or coal), and almost nobody does. Number might be close if you include coal open pit mine area, but that's a garbage discussion to get into give you then need to discuss full lifecycle mining land use for everything.

I do not think the land use is at all an issue, though. Or an overly important factor, parti ularly in the US context, for choosing your generation source.

For instance, there are about 40 million acres of land in the US right now devoted to corn-ethanol production for energy. Convert that to solar, and you have 8 TWof solar capacity, enough at 18% capacity factor to cover triple the current US electricity demand. Which is sufficient to cover all current demand, all new demand created by electrifying road vehicles, and likely also all demand caused by electrifying heating. (corn ethanol currently makes up about 5% of US motor fuel, by comparison). Probably with energy to spare.

That's literally not even changing the amount of land devoted to "energy production" in the country. Just changing it from corn-ethanol to solar.

Or... Switch it all to agrivoltaics for food production, still be able to power the entire country with it (maybe not including heating), while producing enough grain on that land to also feed a couple hundred million people.