Renewable energy is a highly debated topic with increasing importance. There are some misconceptions about solar energy, from the amount of space solar farms take up to how much power these farms are producing. How much do you really know about solar energy?
Background Facts – North Carolina has 8.5 million acres of farmland. The 8.5 million acres of farmland are home to about 50,000 farms, each farm averaging 170 acres. These are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Now let’s compare common myths about solar energy to the actual facts.
If the iconic 193 ft. tall Cape Hatteras Lighthouse represented all of North Carolina’s farmland, only 1.85 inches of the lighthouse would be solar farms. The 1.85 inches is microscopic in comparison to the lighthouse as a whole. That’s less than the length of an average human thumb, the width of an iPhone 6, or the key you use to unlock your front door.
If we compare the 50,000 farms in North Carolina to the amount of land solar farms occupy, solar farms would account for 40 of them. North Carolina has 100 counties. That’s less than one solar farm for every two counties.
Let’s say the 8.5 million acres of the state’s farmland represented a 24-hour period of time. Solar energy would only take up 1 minute and 15 seconds of the day. That’s about the time it takes to brush your teeth, respond to an email, or read one page of “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand.