For 40% Of The EU And US To Drive EVs, 56,000-70,000 Km² Of Land Must Be Cleared For Wind Turbines

Reposted from The NoTricksZone

By Kenneth Richard on 15. July 2021

A new study warns that “a massive expansion of impervious surfaces” is an inevitable consequence of having electric vehicles reach a 40% share of citizens’ driving needs.  A land area the size of Croatia (in the European Union) or West Virginia (in the United States) must be completely covered with wind turbines to meet EV-charging energy demands for 4 of every 10 vehicles.

The already-weak power capacity of wind turbines, 0.5 We m² on average, will only continue to diminish as more wind farms are added to the landscape (Miller and Keith, 2018).

Consequently, the land area that must be devoted to the erection of wind turbines to meet the ever-growing energy needs of Earth’s citizens is harrowing.

Consider the US. Electricity generation only accounts for 17% of the US’s primary energy consumption. For wind energy to supply all the electricity needs for US citizens, a land area the size of California – 12 percent of the contiguous US – must be cleared to make way for wind farms (Miller and Keith, 2018). Again, that’s to meet just 1/6th of Americans’ energy needs.

Image Source: Miller and Keith, 2018

In Scotland, 14 million CO2-absorbing trees were recently chopped down to make way for wind farms. This way the Scottish government can ironically claim they’re doing their part to reduce CO2 emissions.

And now a new study documents how much more land must be converted to impervious surface so that new wind farms can supply the electricity to charge an exponentially-growing number of EVs in the coming decades.

“In order to run 40% of their vehicles with electricity, the EU should devote over 5000 km² of land (twice the size of Luxembourg) to photovoltaic panels or almost 56,000 km² (about the size of Croatia) to wind turbines, whereas the US should devote over 6000 km² (roughly the size of Delaware) to solar or almost 70,000 km² (more than the area of West Virginia) to wind.”

Image Source: Orsi, 2021

Put another way, an average EU or US city will need to expand its urbanized area by 0.2 to 4 km² due to dramatically rising number of EVs using low-density wind and solar energy to supply electricity.

And this is green?

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Devils tower
July 17, 2021 10:21 am

You can add one more thing to the over head of electric vehicles.

GM just warned EV bolt owners to park outside.

I always used to tell folks in the north where I live you..

EVs are nitch vehicles for short commutes
In the winter you will need an extra garage stall for you EV car

I now will have to say you need a bomb style bunker away from your house

I would say anyone who can afford an EV has not parked a valuable vehicle outside in a long time

Rich Davis
Reply to  Devils tower
July 17, 2021 10:32 am

If one of their ICE cars was at risk of bursting into flames, do you suppose the National Transportation Safety Board would let GM tell customers to park outside as a resolution? Or would they force a total recall?

Hmmm, I wonder.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Rich Davis
July 17, 2021 4:08 pm

Hey, they let 1000s die from an experimental jab, what the problem? More fires, more deaths, all on the plus side for those wanting to decrease the population.

Reply to  Charles Higley
July 17, 2021 6:50 pm

THousands have not died, it isn’t experimental.
It really is amazing how some people will believe anything so long as it agrees with what they want to believe.

Reply to  MarkW
July 17, 2021 8:17 pm

It is experimental, about 10 years short of establishing a safety profile. Around 10,000 adverse events including a progressive loss of viability and death in close association with vaccine administration have been voluntarily reported through VAERS.

Reply to  n.n
July 18, 2021 11:00 am

An adverse event is not a death, 10,000 out of hundreds of millions of doses.

Vincent Causey
Reply to  MarkW
July 18, 2021 12:19 am

This is phase 3 of the trial, so in what reality is that not experimental?

Reply to  MarkW
July 18, 2021 9:54 am

Yep – you have just proved the latter point. Now read around a bit and apologize for trying to spread mis-information.

Reply to  Rich Davis
July 17, 2021 10:13 pm

It is, after all, Government Motors; so some conflict of interest may exist.

Rich Davis
Reply to  roaddog
July 18, 2021 9:13 am

I think technically it’s Union Motors gifted by government to the UAW isn’t it? Still a conflict for the demrats though.

Russell McMahon
Reply to  Rich Davis
July 18, 2021 3:20 am

Long long ago Ford Cortinas used to semi randomly burst intoi flames due to plastic fuel pipoes in the engine bay 🙁 🙂 !!!

willem post
Reply to  Rich Davis
July 18, 2021 8:00 am

Here is a write-up about charging EVs when the battery temperature is 32F or less.

Charging Electric Vehicles During Freezing Conditions
School Bus Normal Operation at 32F and below: On cold/freezing days, an electric bus would use on-board systems to heat the battery, as needed, during its daily route.

EV Parking: When at home, it is best to keep EVs plugged in during periods with 32F and below, whether parked indoors or outdoors.
When parking at a motel, or an airport, it is best to fully charge EVs prior to parking, to enable the on-board systems to heat the battery, as needed, during parking.

Charging at 32F and below: Li-ion batteries must not be charged when the batterytemperature is at 32F or less.
Turn on “pre-conditioning”, i.e., the battery heating/cooling system (which could be a heat pump) very slowly heats up the battery to about 40F. After the battery is “up to temperature”, normal charging can be started, either at home, or on the road. 

Pre-conditioning can be set to:
1) Preheat the car cabin and/or seats
2) Defrost windshield wipers, windows, door handles and charge port, etc.; Tesla has a charge port heater. See URL

Power Failure, while parked at 32F and below: Partially charged batteries, connected to dead chargers, could use much of their remaining charge to prevent freezing of batteries. 
See URLs.

NOTE: Li-ions (pos.) are absorbed by the anode (neg.) at lesser rates at a batterytemperature of 32F and below. Any excess Li-ions plate out on the anode, which further reduces the absorption rate. This condition increases charging percentage, increases kWh/mile, and reduces range. This condition is permanent, i.e., cannot be reversed.

– Batteries have miscellaneous losses to provide electricity to on-board systems, similar to Tesla and other EVs  
– On cold/freezing days, an electric bus should be ready for service as soon as the driver enters the bus
– On cold/freezing days, the driver would need at least 70% charge, because travel would require more energy per mile

If the battery temperature is less than 40F or more than 115F, it will use more kWh/mile
The higher efficiency range, charging and discharging, is 60F to 80F. 
Batteries have greater internal resistance at lower temperatures. 
Pro-bus folks often point to California regarding electric buses, but in New England, using electric buses to transport children would be a whole new ballgame, especially on colder days. See URLs
NOTE: Where would the electricity come from to charge and protect from cold, expensive batteries during extended electricity outages, due to multi-day, hot and cold weather events, with minimal wind and sun, as occur in California, Texas and New England?
Emergency standby diesel-generators? Emergency standby batteries?

Devils Tower
Reply to  willem post
July 18, 2021 9:08 am

Thanks for this post, it is worse than I thought. Not that I would consider owning one…

Reply to  Devils tower
July 17, 2021 10:46 am

Seems like a lot more fire stations will need to be built and outfitted. Green jobs.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Scissor
July 17, 2021 10:55 am

A truly green fire station would deploy trucks loaded with hydrogen gas. They would then combine it with oxygen at the site of the fire to produce the fire-fighting agent.

Think of the weight savings for the trucks! Think of all of the precious freshwater resources we would be saving for Gaia!

P.S. Does anybody have a link to the site to apply for government grants?

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
July 17, 2021 12:59 pm
Last edited 1 year ago by Scissor
Reply to  Scissor
July 17, 2021 1:21 pm

Well, that’s not very green…but but but….the new improved windmills will have lighter stronger blades…the bees and birds and bats will never know what hit them……..and and
and they will float…yeah, floating windmills.

Last edited 1 year ago by antigtiff
Charles Higley
Reply to  Anti-griff
July 17, 2021 4:13 pm

We had 15,000 defunct wind turbines 15 years ago. The number has only grown hugely. There are no plans made for their disposal when they can no longer be profitably maintained, so most are simply abandoned. Most of the materials involved cannot be recycled either.

What idiot thought this was a good idea?

Russell McMahon
Reply to  Charles Higley
July 18, 2021 3:23 am

People are actively developing recycle/reuse strategies for end of life turbine blades. (ENEL is one that comes to mind). I’d imagine a significant part of the alternator and drive mechanisms would be highly recyclable.

Reply to  Russell McMahon
July 18, 2021 12:10 pm

Many parts are already recyclable but can recycle companies make money doing it? No or those defunct windmills would already have been cut up and hauled off. The only way for recycle companies to make any money is if someone else pays to tear down the windmill and haul it to them. Without forcing the companies who install/run windmills to set aside money to decommission them they’ll be left to rot. Eventually the tax payers will be forced to pay for ripping them out.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Charles Higley
July 18, 2021 4:34 am

“What idiot thought this was a good idea?”

Biden, for one.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Anti-griff
July 18, 2021 9:19 am

Float like a butterfly,
Sting like a bee

Reply to  Scissor
July 17, 2021 7:01 pm
Last edited 1 year ago by Alan
Reply to  Alan
July 18, 2021 11:07 am

Simple solution. Put your back up generator in a water tight room if you are in an area threatened by tsunamis.

What’s your solution to the intermittency problem of wind turbines?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
July 17, 2021 3:04 pm


Perhaps not as brilliant as the fireball, but worthy of a subsidy at least.

Yes dear pedants, I am aware that hydrogen burns with an invisible flame and so my comment is WRONG!

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
July 17, 2021 5:37 pm

A bright bit of humour to start the day – well done.

Reply to  Scissor
July 17, 2021 1:28 pm

In general, every EV purchased will replace a gasoline powered vehicle so … no extra fire stations.

From my response above, “These highway [petroleum powered] vehicle fires accounted for 13 percent of fires responded to by fire departments across the nation.”

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 3:15 pm

Yeh, but at least we can put those ones out

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Davidf
July 18, 2021 4:37 am

Great point.

The fire department can put out a gasoline-powered car fire in a matter of seconds.

They will spend all day trying to keep a Tesla fire from spreading.

The fire departments are going to need bigger tanker trucks.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 18, 2021 9:36 pm


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
July 19, 2021 4:11 am

“Internal Combustion Engine”, if that’s what you are asking.

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 4:45 pm

Of course the fuel of ICE vehicles can catch fire, usually caused by accident. They rarely spontaneously combust at night in one’s garage with the family asleep.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Scissor
July 18, 2021 4:40 am

There’s no way I would park an EV inside a house’s garage. I would park it a safe distance away, just in case.

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 6:53 pm

What you wish to be true and what are true once again, do not coincide.
Some EV’s will replace a gasoline power car, most will be a supplemental vehicle to do short runs.

ICE cars usually only catch fire after being in an accident. Only EV’s have developed the skill of self igniting at night while in your garage.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Scissor
July 17, 2021 4:10 pm

Ah, but that would be a broken window economy that produces nothing. Hire people to break windows and then glass companies thrive. Nothing is created, capitol is destroyed, and who hires the brick throwers?

Reply to  Devils tower
July 17, 2021 1:22 pm

150 Gasoline Fires A Day
According to a recent FEMA report, “from 2014 to 2016 an estimated 171,500 highway vehicle fires occurred in the United States, resulting in an annual average of 345 deaths; 1,300 injuries; and $1.1 billion in property loss. These highway vehicle fires accounted for 13 percent of fires responded to by fire departments across the nation.”

EV fires? Give it a rest.

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 1:40 pm

Given the fact that there are hundreds of times as many ICE cars on the road compared to EV cars. The ICE cars do many more miles per year. On average ICE cars are much older as well.

It’s hardly surprising that there are more ICE fires than EV fires.

Secondly, on average an EV car doesn’t replace an ICE car, it’s merely a supplemental car for short trips.

Thirdly, ICE cars usually catch fire after an accident.
EV cars not only catch fire after accidents but are none to spontaneously combust while parked over night.

Reply to  MarkW
July 17, 2021 2:20 pm

“ICE cars usually catch fire after an accident.”

Pretty sure I understand your meaning there, but I can see it being read differently – so to clarify: “It usually requires an accident for an ICE car to catch fire”

Reply to  MarkW
July 17, 2021 3:38 pm

MarkW wrote, “It’s hardly surprising that there are more ICE fires than EV fires.”

Yet I don’t see comments to blog posts about how dangerous ICE vehicles are because they have a tank full of highly flammable petroleum.

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 4:51 pm

There are no vehicles with petroleum in their tanks. Further, while gasoline is flammable, diesel is not. It is combustible.

Reply to  Scissor
July 17, 2021 6:55 pm

Facts are such pesky things.

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 6:55 pm

I love the way EV lovers manage to respond to a detailed post, with nothing more then their already disproven claim being repeated.

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 18, 2021 11:04 am

That’s because cars filled with gasoline aren’t dangerous.

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 2:18 pm

That’s completely meaningless in a discussion of EV vs ICE since there are orders of magnitude more ICE vehicles than EVs on the road.

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 2:44 pm

ICE fires can be extinguished, EV fires not so.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 17, 2021 3:13 pm

Recycling the ICVs’ burnt fuel remnants is done by nature, plants want even more than currently available, not so for EVs.
Although “there are over a dozen large scale lithium ion recycling facilities in the rest of Europe there are none in the UK despite the fact that the UK is the second largest vehicle market in the region. The UK is also amongst the top electric vehicle markets in Europe.”
“By 2040, the UK will require 140GWh worth of cell production capability, representing 567,000 tonnes of cell production per year. …. By 2040, 339,000 tonnes of EV batteries are expected to reach their end of life annually.”

Reply to  Vuk
July 17, 2021 3:45 pm

“By 2040 … “

Nineteen years. We better hurry.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 3:46 pm

Another brand-new apologist account shows up to set everyone straight.

Devils tower
Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 3:55 pm

I have vehicles and gas in my garage.

And several fire extinguishers that I know how to use.

Do you happen to have a version to put out litium fires….

willem post
Reply to  Devils tower
July 18, 2021 7:55 am

THETFORD; July 2, 2021 — A fire destroyed a 2019 Chevy Bolt, owned by state Rep. Tim Briglin, D-Thetford, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Technology.

He had plugged his 2019 Chevy Bolt into his 240-volt outdoor charger.
The battery was at 10% charge at start of charging, at 8 PM, and he had charged it to 100% charge at 4 AM (8 hours of charging!!) 
The flames started at about 6:30 AM. He was lucky, it was not parked in his garage. 
Firefighters were called to Briglin’s Tucker Hill Road home around 9 AM Thursday. See Note

Investigators from the Vermont Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit determined: 

1) The fire started in a compartment in the back of the passenger’s side of the vehicle
2) It was likely due to an electrical failure.

In 2020, GM issued a recall of nearly 68,667 Chevy Bolts, 2017, 2018 and 2019 models. 
Owners are advised not to charge them in a garage, and not to leave them unattended while charging; what a nuisance!

EV batteries should be charged from 20% to 80% charge for minimal degradation and long life.
EV batteries shall not be charged, when the battery temperature is less than 32F; if charged anyway, the battery would be permanently damaged.

Thomas Gasloli
July 17, 2021 10:23 am

Do those numbers take into account the low average annual operating capacity achieved by wind & solar, or does it assume 24/7/365 for wind & 12/7/365 for solar?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
July 17, 2021 12:49 pm

Dunno, even after reading the article. But probably not, since I looked up some basic facts and ran my own set of numbers below. The article appears off by a factor of about 8

CD in Wisconsin
July 17, 2021 10:27 am

In Scotland, 14 million CO2-absorbing trees were recently chopped down to make way for wind farms. This way the Scottish government can ironically claim they’re doing their part to reduce CO2 emissions.”


Bing grossly hypocritical isn’t an issue for the Greenies. It’s a feature.

Bob Hunter
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
July 17, 2021 3:52 pm

Here in Canada with more than 320 billion trees, the Federal Dept of Environment & Climate Change (note the Dept name) state Canada’s Managed (note the qualification) Forests are a carbon contributor because of fires (btw less hectares burned this century than the 80s & 90s) and beetle infestation.

I was a CFO of a multinational Corp and not a botanist or climatologist but I know BS data And it appears to me the Dept included only ‘managed’ forests to support the conclusion. As well, it appears the Dept ignores the amounts that are absorbed by the soil or consumed by fungi, larvae and insects

July 17, 2021 10:36 am

More Agenda 21 crap. The intent is to limit personal vehicle use and travel making this a ‘feature’ rather than a drawback for EVs.

michael hart
Reply to  markl
July 17, 2021 12:56 pm

Yes. For years now, the problem of driving a car in London is congestion (as well as parking). So they introduced congestion charging to make it more expensive. Ultimately, I expect only the very wealthy will be able to afford personal transportation again. Just like the good old days, when us proles knew where to limit our expectations in life.

It will continue as they use green ‘solutions’ not only to cure out-there environmental theories, but also as excuses because politicians are too cowardly to speak about real problems. They will try to fix them without admitting to doing so.

July 17, 2021 10:40 am

They’d need much more land due to high turbulence intensity (ti) and loss of energy WHEN the blows…

in the meantime:
comment image

Last edited 1 year ago by john
Gary Pearse
July 17, 2021 10:45 am

Nearly every news story these days is about stuff that’s never going to happen. Watts up with that. This new kind of fluff reporting should be given a catchy name. The entire last decade of news could be deleted without anyone noticing it.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
July 17, 2021 4:14 pm

Plausible is the novel standard of modern science, modern jurisprudence, human rights, etc.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
July 18, 2021 12:09 am

The entire last decade of news could be deleted without anyone noticing it.

We need to make sure it isn’t deleted, so those that promoted this bullshit can be held to account.

David Sulik
July 17, 2021 10:46 am

So, they want to suck all the energy out of the air, to cause a global ice age?

Gregory Woods
July 17, 2021 10:53 am

Is that a rhetorical question?

July 17, 2021 11:00 am

Ever notice the lack of wildlife and people when there are windfarms?

Reply to  Rob Gappa
July 17, 2021 1:08 pm

Oh, I don’t know about the lack of wildlife. Look around the base of a wind turbine and you’re likely to find all sorts of wildlife. Well, wild not-quite-alive life.

I’m sure there are also lots of coyotes and other ground-based scavengers to be found around the base of a wind turbine.

I’d say it’s a crapshoot whether or not buzzards get to the ground to get a meal of carrion or get knocked to the ground to become carrion.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Rob Gappa
July 17, 2021 1:13 pm

Maybe they can erect a couple in Central Park (NY City)

Robert R. Chase
July 17, 2021 11:22 am

How is this a new study?

Rud Istvan
July 17, 2021 11:29 am

Too many assumptions. I just ran some simpler numbers based on rounded facts.

There are 292 mio registered EU cars, and 276 mio in US. 40% EV is 227 mio EV.

In EU, avg daily drive is 60km (US would be higher, so bottom line worse). EU EV use about 0.2KWh/km (smaller, less zippy than Tesla), so need to charge about 12 KWh/day. So need (227 mio EV*12KWh)’only’ 2724 million KWh per day.

Avg modern land wind turbine is 2-3MW nameplate. Say 2.5MW, which have rotor diameters ~100 meters. Capacity factor ~30% means 0.75 MWh per day per turbine on average, so need 3,362,000 such turbines. NREL says rule of thumb optimal big turbine spacing is ~10x rotor diameters, so about 1000 meters or 1km apart, so 1 per square Km. So need about 3.6 million square km. California is 424,000 km2. So you need about eight and a half California’s, not 1.

It is much worse than even the article thought. Or, impossible.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 17, 2021 12:24 pm

Forget the numbers Rud, wind turbine noise causes cancer:

William Astley
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 17, 2021 1:39 pm


I discovered the Logic that kills the Left wing madness. I think we need to get this concept explained in pictures.

Forcing everyone to drive EVs, forcing citizens to heat homes with electricity rather than gas, and so on,..

Forced shutdown of all ‘fossil fuel’ pipelines, refineries, and so on.

Forcing all current power demand off of Hydrocarbon on to electric ….. The ‘Electric green scheme’ ……

Will force every country (that adopts/forces the Green Scam) to increase the ‘Capacity’ of their electricity 24/7 by roughly a factor of three (see UK study that is attached below).

The ‘Capacity’ of the electrical grid is how much electricity the electric grid (which is a system) can provide 24/7, 365.

Adding more wind turbines or solar panels does not increase the ‘Capacity’ of an Electric Grid.

To increase the capacity of the Electric Grid requires more Power Supplies.

Power Supplies are devices that can provide power 24/7. The power grid must have extra power supplies to allow for planned and unplanned outages of power supplies to enable it to provide its rated ‘Capacity’ 24/7… 365.

The Green scams …. do not increase the capacity of an electric grid.

The ‘Battery Concept’ cannot be used to increase the capacity of the electric grid.

The efficiency and internal energy loss makes it impossible to use a battery to store electrical energy for months.

Because of the above, the ridiculous number of batteries and building to hold the batteries, and the energy to cool and heat the battery buildings. …

No country will even attempt to increase the capacity of their electric grid by let’s say 30% using wind, sun, and batteries.

Batteries do not work conceptually. We need to explain that in pictures also.

The Unbelievable fact is … Countries like Germany, UK, and so on. Have passed legislation that is forcing all transportation, heating, and so on to be electric.

That will force their electric’s capacity be increased.

This is a UK study …. which calculated that the UK electrical grid capacity would need to be increased by a factor of three….

“The UK electrical grid power supply output would be required to INCREASE by a factor of THREE (with zero emissions) as all heating, manufacturing, and transportation, is going to be powered from electricity”

Jim Gorman
Reply to  William Astley
July 18, 2021 5:42 am

The ‘Capacity’ of the electrical grid is how much electricity the electric grid (which is a system) can provide 24/7, 365.

Actually the “capacity” of the grid has two parts, one, the generation capacity and two, the load carrying capacity of the transmission equipment. Adding generation capacity will not increase the load carrying ability of the existing grid. That will require additional transmission lines, substation equipment, pole transformers, drop line sizing, and breaker box size. Lots of costs and TIME TO INSTALL requirements that aren’t even being discussed.

William Astley
Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 18, 2021 8:30 am

You are absolutely correct. And the big picture is worse.

This explains why Biden made the little joke that the US efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by forced stupid pointless changes in the US, will not ‘save’ the planet’ or stop climate change.

It will just bankrupt the US and help China win its cold war against the US.

It is as if evil children are running our government. The evil children have written legislation to force us to implement a plan which will not work and cannot work for basic engineering reason. The evil children have taken over our legal system.

Reducing CO2 emissions, in the Western countries will make no difference in atmospheric CO2 as China is upgrading all of their coal fired power plans.

And humans did not cause the rise in atmospheric CO2.

And more importantly… The planet is starting to cool and is now cooler than the 30 year average.

The observed ‘pause’ in warming is now logically followed by cooling… the warming in the last 25 years was not caused the increase in atmospheric CO2.

The entire electrical system (grid) (everything must be redesigned and large sections replaced and upgraded0, in addition to the absolute requirement to install three times more power supplies.

Our countries will be bankrupt and facing brownouts and massive power outages.

Cement cannot be made and there is no solution.

There is no solution to how to power ships or airplanes.

There is no solution as to how to construct buildings or what is going to replace plastics.

There is no solution for how to mine with zero emissions or how to smelt steel. The solution is more recycling.

Green energy is a fable, an urban legend.

It is not possible to get to zero CO2 emissions using wind and sun gathering and batteries and biofuel and burning forests, regardless of how much money is spent.

There are entire regions of the US where wind is not viable. And it is a fact a wind and sun system cannot get to zero co2 emissions. The CO2 calculations did not include the energy and CO2 to build the green stuff and the new power lines to the green stuff.

Wind turbines have a complex control system that must reduce blade angle to avoid breaking the blade as the wind speed increases. Turbine blades wear out. Turbine bearings wear out. Turbine supports wear out.

Wind turbines are capable of producing full power for the first 12 to 15 years of their life. At that time, the wind turbines are de-rated by 30% to 50% to avoid turbine blade failure.

So every 25 years all of the wind turbines and all of the wind turbine supports will need to be replaced. The energy to remove and dispose of the wind turbines and the sun gathering equipment needs to be included.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 17, 2021 1:46 pm

Long before you could have put up all of those turbines, you will have run out of the best places to put those turbines. Because of this less optimal placements, the average capacity factor is going to start dropping.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  MarkW
July 17, 2021 3:16 pm

True. But when the simplest approximate data result in ridiculous conclusions, refinement does not change the conclusions.

Example, the CF for US onshore wind is about 31% last decade, best locations. The CF for UK wind is only 26% last decade, again mostly best locations. I used 30% for my ballpark approximations.

Another example. NREL turbine spacing recs are about 7x rotor diameter for 1 MW (small) to 15 diameters for 3 MW (big). I used 10 diameters for 2.5MW nameplate, whose actual rotors are between 103 and 120 meters depending on manufacturer. I used 100 meter rotors.

Great reminder for the Griff’s.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 17, 2021 3:55 pm

Eye-opening, Rud.

And it is important to remember that so-called “nameplate” ratings are instead maximum ratings needed to design the balance-of-system for a turbine, which must be designed to handle maximum production for safety reasons. Using them for in situ energy production is misleading, at best.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 17, 2021 5:03 pm

Assuming true believers would be swayed by factual analyses.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  MarkW
July 17, 2021 6:46 pm

Don’t forget that all those huge areas of wind resistance will also slow the wind, reducing the efficiency even further.

July 17, 2021 11:37 am

You don’t have to “clear” the land, you can raise cows or corn under the turbines.
.comment image
.comment image

Reply to  Alan
July 17, 2021 12:14 pm
Reply to  Alan
July 17, 2021 1:57 pm

Stupid suggestion! Trees tend to grow,usually vertically.
Blade damage!

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Alan
July 17, 2021 12:48 pm

You clear the land of people. (The things you’re trying to save> yes/no? hello hello)

Nobody will live near those things and already don’t. It’s why windmills in Scotland are actually as productive as they are – it is relentlessly windy in Scotland.
The wind is why (next to) nobody lives in Scotland – it has bigger area than England but less than 7% of the population

Why the picture of cows – ain’t they destroying the world?
You HATE cows. Remember?

Even worse though is the corn. The only real sensible thing to do with corn is actually to turn it into alcohol to power cars/trucks/trains/planes
Because otherwise it (the sugar that’s in it and there really is NOTHING else) destroys everything sentient it touches. Also bacteria

While the growing of corn uses vast amounts of ‘resource’ but most heinous of all, destroys the dirt. We know that – its why atmospheric CO2 levels are rising.
Corn growing creates deserts.
And once you have made a desert, no amount of CO2, water, good intention, unionised shovel jobs, tax, subsidy or grant will ever turn it back into a garden.

not ever

Reply to  Alan
July 17, 2021 1:00 pm

Windmills have to be serviced regularly, much more frequently in th winter. Neither picture shows any access right-of way. without access part of the crops are going to have to be sacrificed, especially in the winter.

Anti freeze for de-icing, vehicle access for break downs. If one of the windmills sheds a blade probably 2-3 acres would be required.

Since the populace supposedly does not want nuclear power the only alternative is fossil fuels.
Very little of this planning has been done for the extremely large areas needed.

pHil R
Reply to  Alan
July 17, 2021 1:42 pm

You can also place gas wells in between turbines, and they’re much less of an eyesore.

Last edited 1 year ago by pHil R
pHil R
Reply to  pHil R
July 17, 2021 1:44 pm

Dang, wish I had a bigger photo.

Reply to  pHil R
July 17, 2021 2:41 pm

Cliquing on it to resize

Tom Abbott
Reply to  pHil R
July 18, 2021 4:53 am

A blight on the landscape.

Reply to  Alan
July 17, 2021 1:54 pm

Looks like a windless day. Zero output from those low flying aircraft!

Reply to  Alan
July 17, 2021 10:19 pm

Unless you are in Scotland.

July 17, 2021 12:12 pm

Just as an aside, don’t you think that it’d be more impressive to say 5,600,000 to 7,000,000 hectares, or for the Metrically Challenged, 14,000,000 to 17,000,000 acres!

22,000 mi² is a bit of land, but only about ½ of that would be America’s share. So, is it really that much? I don’t think so. The continental US is 3,190,000 mi², so that’s what, less than 1% of the US?

Put that way, one can see that the land requirement is a pittance. As an FYI, the amount of arable land in the US is only hovering around 17%. It used to be nearly 21%, but a fair amount has become “salted” (no salt involved) by the intrusion of cities, towns, industry and waste-water evaporation ponds. A lot, really.

I don’t think 1% of the non-arable land use given over to windmill generation is an imperative worth rioting over.


Last edited 1 year ago by GoatGuy
Reply to  GoatGuy
July 17, 2021 12:37 pm

Someone also needs to subtract out the amount of land not needed when off shore turbines are added to the mix.

Reply to  Alan
July 17, 2021 2:01 pm

Alan someone also needs to understand that unreliable wind equates to unreliable power output.

Willem Post
Reply to  TeddyLee
July 17, 2021 7:54 pm

Here is a basic rule applicable to all grids

Normal wind and solar output could be 10,000 MW

During a wind/solar lull, it could be 1,000 MW.

Such lulls may last 5 to 7 days, and may occur any time of the year. Sometimes a second lull a few days after the first one.

At least 9,000 MW of other generators would be needed to counteract the shortfall.

Those generators would be needed 24/7/365.

No matter what up/down performance wind/solar has, these generators have to supply enough to meet demand.

Rich Davis
Reply to  GoatGuy
July 17, 2021 12:41 pm

As poorly thought-out arguments go, that’s pretty much the goofiest of all time, guy.

The revolt should be against having our electricity cost increase by 10x, while simultaneously making it most unreliable when it is needed most, and forcing us to rely on it to heat our homes in the dead of winter when it could be a matter of life and death. I’m also opposed to k!lling large numbers of endangered raptors and bats for no benefit except to the crony capitalists selling the worthless windmills and the gas turbines needed to back them up. Devastating natural beauty in mountain wilderness areas, what’s not to like?

Not to mention that as Rud Istvan commented, it’s probably a gross underestimate.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rich Davis
Reply to  GoatGuy
July 17, 2021 12:43 pm

Goatee, good afternoon. I’m having connectivity issues so I can’t check this. But the article says larger than WVA. WVA isn’t less than 1% of the USAs total land area, is it? But there are many more important questions to challenge any consideration of this proposal;
Accuracy of estimates
Funding source
Land source
Long term maintenance
Etc, etc.
I’m in the camp of: if a company wants to do this, on their dime, fine, I will not support ANY government subsidy or such interference or ‘help’.

Reply to  GoatGuy
July 17, 2021 1:50 pm

This is just the amount needed to replace 40% of cars. Transportation is far from being the biggest user of energy.

So 22K miles squared is just a small percent of a small percent of the total amount of land that’s going to be needed.

Reply to  MarkW
July 17, 2021 5:01 pm

You are abslutely correct. The numbers and scale make the phantasy of a transistion ludicrous and delusional. But the only group deluding itself even more is the ‘Church of Warmer is better of the Life giving CO2’ claque who thinks there is a better and even simpler aswer; BAU. One group hurriedly re-arranging deck chairs and a small group aft saying it’s unsinkable.

Reply to  Loydo
July 17, 2021 7:04 pm

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you actually believe that what you wrote, makes sense.

As to the belief that we can run a modern economy on wind and solar, I agree with you, such a claim is ludicrous and delusional.

As to the belief that warmer is better for life. Historical data proves that point. Beyond that, how many people move from Florida to New York when they retire, vs the opposite directin.

CO2 is life giving, every real world experiment has proven that fact.

Reply to  MarkW
July 18, 2021 12:19 am

There you go again.

Reply to  Loydo
July 18, 2021 9:31 am

Finally agreeing with Mark…give it more time and your brain will grow again.

Reply to  Loydo
July 18, 2021 11:08 am

Making a fool of you? Yes, I tend to do that on a regular basis.

Reply to  Loydo
July 18, 2021 9:39 am

So Loydo, maybe you can tell me: What is the RIGHT temperature?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  GoatGuy
July 17, 2021 2:08 pm

Hmmmm,,, need to think about this one.

11,000 mi^2 would 11,000 miles long and 1 mile wide. or 1100 miles 10 miles wide. Or 100 miles long by 100 miles wide.

I’m not exactly sure where you are going to find this much land that is not already privately owned or unusable for wind mills. Are you just planning on confiscating private land for windmills? Or just getting rid of all the national parks and converting them to windmill use?

Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 17, 2021 7:06 pm

I’m sure that after Biden has gotten a couple of SC justices installed, they will be able to get the SC to rule that since wind mills and solar panels don’t make the land they are sitting on 100% useless, that therefore the government seizing the land wouldn’t qualify as a taking and would therefore not require any compensation.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  GoatGuy
July 17, 2021 4:00 pm

Would you want to live on the upper floors of a multistory apartment building (thereby requiring elevator access), and the electricity is supplied from wind turbines?

Reply to  GoatGuy
July 19, 2021 7:27 am

Every acre of new renewable energy will require a further acre in landfill for waste arising within a few years.
Make no mistake – renewable energy will blight the land irreversibly.
A cure many times worse than the imaginary disease.
This is as stupid as the human race will ever be.

July 17, 2021 12:59 pm

At sufficient Flux density, the sub-atomic moron particles fuse to become Bozone

July 17, 2021 1:07 pm

Author seems to have underestimated by 120% AND forgotten that the land that needs to be cleared is in the cities because transmission wastes power.

July 17, 2021 1:13 pm

56,000-70,000 Km² Of Land Must Be Cleared For Wind TurbinesThe area of the lower 48 states = 7,653,006 km2

0.9% of the land area of the lower 48 states.

For comparison, less than one percent of the lower 48 states land area is covered by roads.

Arguing that wind is not a good source of “clean” power because it will take up too much land is a pretty weak argument. Best spend time and effort on other things — I suggest asking for a complete time line (with cost) of how the US will achieve 100% clean energy by what ever future date it is planned to happen. It is remarkable that nobody has done this already.

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 1:52 pm

The amount of land taken up by windmills may not be the strongest argument against them. It doesn’t have to be. The fact that they don’t work is the strongest.

Reply to  MarkW
July 17, 2021 2:15 pm

they don’t work ?
How do you explain this:

Reply to  Alan
July 17, 2021 3:39 pm

If you download and analyze data from ERCOT, wind power in TX is highly variable and needs 100% fossil fuel backup, as was noted on Feb 9th of this year.
In the UK, their 11,000 wind turbines in 2020 supplied an average of 6 GW of power, but output varied from 0.2 GW to 14 GW.
The UK uses on average 30 GW of electricity.
Now, multiply 0.2 and 14 by 4, and reflect.

Reply to  Alan
July 17, 2021 7:08 pm

Since you get no power from wind, when the wind isn’t blowing, then by definition, they don’t work. The mere fact that once in awhile they produce power when the power isn’t needed does not change this fact.

pHil R
Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 2:00 pm

You either have an issue with reading comprehension or you are being purposefully dense. The post was about what will be required for EV, and only to achieve 40% replacement. To achieve your 100% clean energy goes way beyond a few electric vehicles and would require way more than 1% of the land area. Also as noted somewhere previously (not going back to look), as the optimal locations for wind farms are used up, less than optimal locations will be required, which will reduce efficiency and result in an even larger increase in the land area needed.

Dave Fair
Reply to  pHil R
July 17, 2021 5:12 pm

Sadly, rational explanations will not stop the madness. Also, equally sadly, the NIMBYs will lead the charge in expelling these blights on the environment.

Reply to  pHil R
July 17, 2021 7:09 pm

As total land area increases, the average distance between the bird choppers and the cities that need the power will increase. This will increase the amount of energy lost during transmission.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
July 17, 2021 9:27 pm

And the amount of new copper required.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 2:09 pm

Where are you going to find that much land that private owners will be willing to give up for windmill use? Are you just going to confiscate it from all the private owners?

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  rovingbroker
July 17, 2021 4:15 pm

Are you hoping to get rich in the copper futures market?

July 17, 2021 1:21 pm

Fundamental misunderstanding here: EVs are not meant to be used by ordinary folks; they are meant to be so expensive and so poorly serviced by electricity supplies that they will drive (scuse the pun) ordinary folk off the road.

July 17, 2021 1:43 pm

14 million CO2-absorbing trees were recently chopped down to make way for wind farms

How can that possibly be true? I am constantly assured that it never happens!

But for all those turbines, why not just evict everyone from Ireland and put them all there? Problem solved!

Rich Davis
Reply to  TonyG
July 17, 2021 2:54 pm

Does seem like a modest proposal. It should be done Swiftly.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  TonyG
July 18, 2021 5:01 am

You don’t have to evict the Irish. They can live underneath the windmills like the cows do. They just need to refrain from building structures that would interfere with the windmill blades.

Joel O'Bryan
July 17, 2021 1:56 pm

The end goal for Green Marxists is not emissions-free energy. Let’s be clear about that.
The end goal is raw, unencumbered political power. A power gained by pushing the affluent, Western democracy middle class into serfdom under a loss of affordable energy. Affordable energy is what now allows for middle class affluence and to give the wannabe totalitarian Left the boot and the middle finger even as the Left tries to push its agenda fanned with fear mongering about the weather.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 17, 2021 4:17 pm

Watermelon totalitarianism.

Tim Spence
July 17, 2021 2:10 pm

Holland did the maths. It would need a country 4 times bigger to switch to wind. It would need all of Belgium and half the north sea. I don’t mind what they do to Belgium but the north sea is right out.

Reply to  Tim Spence
July 17, 2021 3:40 pm

Doesn’t Holland rely on fossil fuel? They consistent export electricity to the UK.

Chris Hanley
July 17, 2021 3:35 pm

Germany probably has more windmills per head or per hectare than anywhere (maybe Denmark has more) however in 2020 wind supplied just 4% of Germany’s primary energy consumption.

Charles Higley
July 17, 2021 4:00 pm

The efficiency of both wind and solar power diminish with time, not even considering the huge wind farms changing local climate and affecting other things, but then solar panels leak heavy metals over time and focused solar make huge fresh water demands in areas already lacking. No upside to using energy-generating systems to power a grid or economy, when trying to use systems are only useful in small scale to the end user at the periphery of the grid.

July 17, 2021 4:05 pm

The Green blight.

Ewin Barnett
July 17, 2021 5:53 pm

Could use nuclear power but it appears to be a forbidden topic. This is massive environmental destruction. Massive madness, massive expense. Doesn’t ensure the supply of power will meet the demand.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ewin Barnett
July 18, 2021 5:03 am

“Massive madness”

Yes, most definitely.

July 17, 2021 8:03 pm

California is certainly doing its job by simply letting mother nature burn these nasty trees from the face of the earth to crate space for all those “green energy” bird grinders we’re going to need to build.

July 17, 2021 9:40 pm

So … all land is equal in its wind generating capacity? Correct me if I’m wrong, but every existing wind tower has been specifically located where the maximum wind blows due to geographic and at atmospheric conditions? So … every new square hectares of land for new windmills will be increasingly less suitable for maximum wind generation? Show me that little variable in the “green” equation?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Kenji
July 17, 2021 10:05 pm

Here in alberta we have situated turbines on most of the best sites, giving us ALMOST 30% capacity factor over the year
It’s all downhill from here

And it doesn’t matter how many we build, we have days on end where there is no wind anywhere.
During the February polar vortex, before it headed to Texas we had over a week with functional zero wind and solar, zero, with average temp of -35c

Thanks to gold old coal and gas no one died.

There is nothing we can do about week long dead patches

They happen

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 18, 2021 5:13 am

“There is nothing we can do about week long dead patches”

That’s right.

What that means is we have to have fossil-fueled, or nuclear-fueled 100 percent backup for the electrical grid to cover for when the windmills and solar panels don’t produce.

What that means is we should scrap the windmills and industrial solar panels and go with fossil-fueled, or nuclear-fueled powerplants, or both, for our electrical needs. There’s no good reason for creating duplicate power production systems.

We would be better off trying to power the world with Solar Power Satellites, than with windmills and ground-based solar. And,imo, Solar Power Satellites would be cheaper, faster and better than trying to implement the powering of the world with wind and ground-based solar.

A transition from fossil fuels to nuclear fuels is the only rational way for the world to go. And they don’t need to get in a hurry replacing fossil fuels because there is no evidence that CO2 is doing anything the alarmists claim it is doing. There is no need to regulate CO2. We can take our time in the transition.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 18, 2021 9:34 am

Cmon Pat, a week at -35c is going to bother you? A mere 168 hours? Aren’t your houses insulated?

July 17, 2021 10:12 pm

Reliability of power generation from such a crushingly large installation of wind turbines will also likely decline, as more turbines are installed. There is no good news.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  roaddog
July 18, 2021 5:16 am

Yes, and then those windmills will all have to be replaced about every 20 years.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 18, 2021 9:42 am

Even if they are only retrofit every 25 years (a best case scenario where many components are reused), it’s still a boondoggle that rapes the wilderness and gives us unreliable power at ten times what we have historically paid.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 18, 2021 11:11 am

The windmills that are put in sub-optimum locations will be spinning less often, so they might last longer.

Pat from kerbob
July 17, 2021 10:18 pm

I think we have already seen the next step which is the argument that less and less people should be allowed to own vehicles

This is the answer to the crap renewable power conundrum

Cut demand

Russell McMahon
July 18, 2021 3:19 am

Noting that

They say that PV solar would require about 10% of the area that Wind Turbines would.

PV installations in Northern Africa with DC cable feeds could supply more tha this much energy “with relative ease.

Note the proposed Australia – Singapore DC link which is deemed competitively economic compared with alternatives and an existing longer DC link in service in China. Links of similare maximum length would serve most of Europe from Africa and eg PV sources in the Negev desert would serve much of Europe and areas further East.
Even if the Australia – Singapore lonlk fails to eventuate (as may well happen) the fact that it is being pursued suggests that such things are matginally viable or better. From memoryt losses are around 1% and voltages around 1 million V.

Its possible to imagine a glogal East West DC loop that allows energy supply to “follow the sun” across a reasonable portion of the world. ***IF*** such links are genuinely viable economically (as the Chinese installation suggests may be the case) then they could change the balance and perceptions of energy sourcing.

And may not 🙂

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Russell McMahon
July 18, 2021 5:24 am

So the area of the Earth that is underneath the sunlight must power the areas of Earth that are in darkness.

It would seem that this would necessitate the building of many more solar panel farms. Enough, at a particular spot, to supply all those in sunlight and those in darkness as the Earth turns.

Reply to  Russell McMahon
July 18, 2021 11:12 am

The longer the line, the more it costs to build, the more it costs to maintain, and the more electricity is lost in transmission.

Reply to  Russell McMahon
July 19, 2021 3:21 am

The Australia-Singapore link seems to be vanishing into the Aussie outback. One of the companies that proposed this is now trying an alternative proposal to generate hydrogen from renewables. They have already been knocked back for another proposal to build a hydrogen plant close to a pristine beach that’s used by migratory birds.

Robert Maginnis
July 18, 2021 3:38 am

“….land must be converted to impervious surface so that new wind farms can supply the electricity…” Why? Farming is done under the turbines.

Loren C. Wilson
July 18, 2021 7:06 am

Most good locations to place windmills are already utilized in the USA. Therefore, this is still an optimistic estimate since the site will have poorer winds on average than currently. Offshore has better locations but much greater costs.

Coach Springer
July 18, 2021 7:13 am

That will persuade those who want it to go ahead and do it. Distributing an area a bit larger than West Virginia over North America (go ahead, throw Canada into your calculation) and the EU would not be very noticeable, if at all. On the other hand, in central IL I cannot drive in any direction for an hour and not see at least 1 and usually 2 wind farms – from 15 miles away.

Reply to  Coach Springer
July 18, 2021 11:19 am

This is the area needed to replace 40% of cars with EV’s. Obviously replacing 100% of cars would be in the ballpark of 2.5 times greater.
Energy used for transportation is far from the biggest source of demand in the US. Add to that converting all forms of heating to electricity, and you would have to increase the amount of land listed in the article by a factor 10 to 20.

Beyond that, as Rud has calculated, the numbers given in the article are small by a factor of around 8.
Furthermore, by the time you have devoted 80 to 160 W. Virginia’s to wind mills, many of the locations aren’t going to by just sub-optimal, many of them will be marginal at best. So the average utilization factor will start to drop well below the generous 30% used by Rud.

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