Here’s some number fun from one of our readers that we thought was worth sharing. The topic is: “how much land we would need for a massive wind program to power 40% of the US.”
The footprint of a wind turbine is typically around 0.25 acres. This includes the tower foundation, roads, and support structures.
In 2010, the US used 4,143 TWh of electricity (or 11,300,000 MWh per day).
4,143 TWh / 365 * 40% = 4,540 MWh per day from wind.
The average wind turbine is around 3 MW and median capacity is now 43%.
3 x 24 hours x 0.43 = 30.1 MWh per day
4,520,000 / 30.1 = 150,166 3MW turbines.
150,166 x 0.25 = 36,040 acres required.
So, a massive wind power program would require 2.4 Manhattan Islands, 1.4 Disney Worlds, or 0.0015% of the US.