Is there enough land for an energy transition?

This data-file compares the land space required by different energy transition technologies, in tons of CO2-equivalents abated per acre per year. The data are sourced from technical papers and our broader work.

Costs are 65% correlated with land efficiency, in turn, because both metrics tends correlate with capital intensity. Both metrics are compared in the chart above (note the axes are logarithmic).

The data show an economic decarbonization is possible in a typical developed world country but it could use up 20-50% of available land. Energy transition may be more expensive in smaller countries with less land.

Covered technologies include biofuels, reforestation, restoring soil carbon, carbon capture and storage, onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, hydro power, direct air capture and nuclear.

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