Quote Originally Posted by Athiril View Post
I have edited my previous post. For Solar power in Germany, in 2010 it was 11.729 TWh, in 2012 it was 28 TWh.

The Liberose Photovoltaic Park (which is not their largest, but has more easy stats available), can allegedly produce 0.053 TWh, which according to what I can find, uses 2.2km^2 of land.

Or 41.5km^2 per TWh, much better than wind power, but would still need to blanket half the country's land mass to produce the amount of energy they consume. Though their it's not a complete dead end like wind power.

Solar can be embedded in windows of high rise buildings and the like.
I think photovoltaics have a better future than wind. I don't like what I'm seeing with the headlong rush by the government to suddenly throw money at solar. The new solar plants are large-scale affairs on public lands in our deserts, relying on heat concentration to drive steam turbines, so it's the same old big-business-gets-the-big-bucks sort of federal government largesse, with large transmission losses to populated areas. Meanwhile, Southern California has hundreds of thousands of acres of flat-topped commercial buildings which could have solar panels installed on them. Warehouses and other low-draw operations would produce much more power than they use. That could make a significant dent in the consumption of electricity in SoCal, with minimal transmission losses. I expect to see new ideas and technologies improve photovoltaics by a lot in the next several decades if R&D gets funded, privately or publicly. Meanwhile, the solar generating plants being planned and built are going to despoil more beautiful areas with transmission towers and lines.