How big of a solar farm would we need to completely power Los Angeles?



  1. 0 Votes

    I used numbers from an article about Al Gore’s proposal to power the U.S using a solar farm to answer your question. If 1 square meter of solar panel provides 360kWh a year and the population of LA is 1,352,062 in 2010 (I based this on 1990-2000 census figures) and  each each American household uses about 10,000 kWh per year, you would need 13,520,620,000 kWh per year to power LA. This turns out to require about 37,557,278 square meters of solar panel. Since each square meter of solar panel requires 2.5 square meters of space, you need 93,893,194 square meters of land for the solar panels which. This is about 36 SQUARE MILES. LA is about 500 square miles, so you’d need a solar farm about 1/13 the size of LA to power just the homes in LA. I have no idea how to calculate energy utilization for LA businesses. But it seems clear that you’d need a solar farm of comparable size (relative to the city) to power everything in it. This is assuming the solar cells that function at 10% efficiency. hope that helps!

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