Replace Coal With Solar? We’re Going To Need A Lot Of Acres

Upper Peninsula plant one example of how much land solar energy takes

A typical solar power installation needs 7.6 acres of land to produce 1 megawatt of electricity.

The Presque Isle coal plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which is scheduled to be shut down in 2020, can produce up to 359 megawatts of electricity on the 65 acres it occupies.

When it comes to land use, in this instance a coal plant is 42 times more efficient than solar panels.

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There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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