Regional Per Capita Solar Electric Footprint for the United States

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Description

In this report, we quantify the state-by-state per-capita 'solar electric footprint' for the United States. We use state-level data on population, electricity consumption, economic activity and solar insolation, along with solar photovoltaic (PV) array packing density data to develop a range of estimates of the solar electric footprint. We find that the solar electric footprint, defined as the land area required to supply all end-use electricity from solar photovoltaics, is about 181 m2 per person in the United States. Two key factors that influence the magnitude of the state-level solar electric footprint include how industrial energy is allocated (based on ... continued below

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34 p.

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Denholm, P. & Margolis, R. December 1, 2007.

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Description

In this report, we quantify the state-by-state per-capita 'solar electric footprint' for the United States. We use state-level data on population, electricity consumption, economic activity and solar insolation, along with solar photovoltaic (PV) array packing density data to develop a range of estimates of the solar electric footprint. We find that the solar electric footprint, defined as the land area required to supply all end-use electricity from solar photovoltaics, is about 181 m2 per person in the United States. Two key factors that influence the magnitude of the state-level solar electric footprint include how industrial energy is allocated (based on location of use vs. where goods are consumed) and the assumed distribution of PV configurations (flat rooftop vs. fixed tilt vs. tracking). The solar electric footprint is about 0.6% of the total land area of the United States with state-level estimates ranging from less than 0.1% for Wyoming to about 9% for New Jersey. We also compare the solar electric footprint to a number of other land uses. For example, we find that the solar electric footprint is equal to less than 2% of the land dedicated to cropland and grazing in the United States.

Physical Description

34 p.

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  • Report No.: NREL/TP-670-42463
  • Grant Number: AC36-99-GO10337
  • DOI: 10.2172/921203 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 921203
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897562

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • December 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • April 5, 2017, 6:28 p.m.

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Denholm, P. & Margolis, R. Regional Per Capita Solar Electric Footprint for the United States, report, December 1, 2007; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897562/: accessed December 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.