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Photosynthesis+for+Power - SOLAR ENERGY CALCULATIONS At...

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SOLAR ENERGY CALCULATIONS: At earth’s surface average solar energy is ~ 4 x 10 24 J / year Total energy consumption (2001) was ~ 4 x 10 20 J / year (increasing ~ 2% annually) 0.748% 6.48% 6.73% 23.9% 23.2% 38.9% Petroleum Natural Gas Coal Hydroelectricity Nuclear Solar/Wind/Wood/Waste At 10% efficiency, we need to cover 0.1% of earth’s surface to meet energy demands with solar power. Source: DOE Fossil fuels provide ~ 85% of US energy supply.
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CO 2 AND THE GLOBAL MEAN TEMPERATURE Source: DOE
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1. Adds to trade deficit 1. Increases CO 2 concentration in atmosphere 1. May cause geopolitical instability HREE MOTIVATIONS FOR AVOIDING PETROCHEMICALS Source: DOE
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At earth’s surface average solar energy is ~ 4 x 10 24 J / year At 100% efficiency, we need to cover 0.01% of earth’s surface to meet energy demands with solar power. In US, with 10% efficient cells we would need 1.7% of land area devoted to PV. This would generate ~ 3.3 TW. Nuclear power equivalent is 3,300 x 1 GW nuclear power plants (1 for every 10 miles of coastline or major waterway). 1.7% of land area devoted to PV is comparable to area occupied by interstate highways.
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