The question ‘how many solar panels power the US?’ is a good one since it will likely become an essential issue in the coming years. By looking at this question, we need to figure out how much power the United States consumes annually.
Then, we need to look at how much electricity the average acre of a solar panel is. We also need to take into account things like land space and the number of panels required to cover that land. Let us get started.
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Power the US?
How Many Acres Does It Take to Produce a GWh?
It takes roughly three acres of solar panels working to produce a gigawatt every hour for a year.
How Much Energy Does the US Produce Annually?
The United States produces roughly four petawatts of energy annually. One petawatt is the equivalent of one billion million watts. That is a lot of watts!
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How Many Acres of Solar Panels Are Needed?
So, how many solar panels power the US? You would need roughly fourteen million acres or twenty-two thousand square miles of land devoted to hold solar panels. To put this number into perspective, the Mojave Desert is around twenty-two thousand square miles.
Luckily, we probably would not need that much land. If we put solar panels on all the rooftops in America, then they could produce roughly forty percent of the country’s energy requirement.
As such, we would probably need ten thousand square miles — maybe even less — a significant improvement from twenty-two thousand square miles. With this fact in mind, all of a sudden complete solar energy reliance does not sound like such a bad idea.
We hope this article helped you estimate how many solar panels power the US. Though it may be a bit unrealistic to imagine an entire nation powered by solar energy, when combined with other renewable types of energy, the future can soon become a reality — especially when everyone pitches in by putting a solar panel on their roof.