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OSU finds 1% of farmland enough for total solar needs, however …

Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) have published research that finds that converting 1% of the world’s croplands to solar panels would provide enough electricity to meet the world’s current needs. However, while this sounds like a simple enough task, our inability to conceptualize very large numbers is quite misleading. The World Bank says that there is 48,632,688 km2 of land used in agriculture, and so 1% of this would be 486,327 km2 or 187,772 square-miles. For some context, London is around 1,738 km2, while Los Angeles is around 1,213 km2. Even accounting for its infamous urban sprawl, where Los Angeles covers 34,490 km2, the area needed for this 1% conversion of cropland is equivalent to just over 14 entire…

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