What else

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The total so far is 9 + 6.4 + 2 + 2.6 + 7 + 3.6 = 30.6 kWh/d per person. The only resources not mentioned so far are geothermal power, and large-scale solar farming (with mirrors, panels, or biomass).

Geothermal power might work, but it's still in the research stages. I suggest treating it like fusion power: a good investment, but not to be relied on.

So what about solar farming? We could imagine using 5% of Europe (450 m2 per person) for solar photovoltaic farms like the Bavarian one in figure 6.7 (which has a power density of 5W/m2). This would deliver an average power of

Solar PV farming would, therefore, add up to something substantial. The main problem with photovoltaic panels is their cost. Getting power during the winter is also a concern!

Energy crops? Plants capture only 0.5 W/m2 (figure 6.11). Given that Europe needs to feed itself, the non-food energy contribution from plants in Europe can never be enormous. Yes, there will be some oil-seed rape here and some forestry there, but I don't imagine that the total non-food contribution of plants could be more than 12 kWh/d per person.

Figure 30.2. A solar water heater providing hot water for a family in Michigan. The system's pump is powered by the small photovoltaic panel on the left.

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Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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