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Land: A crucial resource for the energy transition

A few days ago we published about the inauguration of the largest solar complex in Brazil with an installed capacity of 1.2 GW and covering a total area equivalent to 4,300 soccer fields.

When the article was published on LinkedIn, it was received with enthusiasm but also with some consideration. Basically related to the dimensions of the land and the vegetation of the region, the Brazilian cerrado. Finally, pros and cons, balance of costs and benefits, not only financial but also environmental and social.

Recent McKinsey work "Land: A crucial resource for the energy transition" also addresses these questions.

Analyzing the perspective of the European Union, whose energy transition is formalized in the European Green Deal, the target is 1,236 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity by 2030, requiring more than 700 GW additional by 2030, 90 percent wind and solar. That is, the required area will be huge. And with the following challenges, at a minimum:

  • technical suitability

  • competition with agriculture

  • impact on biodiversity and conservation

  • legal restrictions

Some interesting solutions are cited:

  • complete geospatial analysis, geolocated activities and remote sensing combined with artificial intelligence

  • "agrivoltaics", simultaneous land use for agriculture and solar panels. Read more about it in a publication by the WEF or by the US Department of Energy.

According to McKinsey "our estimates show that about 9% of available land in Germany would be suitable for wind energy and less than 1% of land in Italy would be suitable, without limitations, for solar photovoltaic energy". And points of attention like "... favorable locations for wind energy in Germany ... in general, higher number of bird species, which further complicates the protection of the land."

Click the image below to read more and see McKinsey's 7 recommendations.

Finally, these posts are worth rereading:


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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