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Page added on August 29, 2009

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Figuring land area use into the energy equation

The Nature Conservancy published a paper earlier this week that explored the topic of additional land use in the pusuit of energy to meet society’s growing needs in the future. The paper explored fossil fuel and renewable technologies alike and looked at their respective impacts on the environment in terms of area of land affected. The study looked at plausible scenarios out to the year 2030.

The paper brought forth the term ‘energy sprawl’ to identify the habitat destruction that goes along with each technology. Obviously, efficiency gains resulted in net decreases in acreage of habitat affected, but suprisingly coal and natural gas production came in as less environmentally needy than solar.


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