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Renewable energy will take up space, does SA have enough land?

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(Photo Jay Caboz)
(Photo Jay Caboz)
Jay Caboz

A sustainable energy future can't be separated from renewable energy sources, but these alternatives to fossil fuels require land – and a new study puts forward a new measure of the land footprint of these technologies.

In November 2020, academics from Australia, Ireland and the US published a paper Renewable Energy Equivalent Footprint (REEF): A Method for Envisioning a Sustainable Energy Future in the Energies journal, arguing that existing energy use is unsustainable.

Excessive carbon emissions and the depletion of non-renewable resources are contributing to unsustainable energy use, state the authors. They suggest that the carbon footprint measure – which calculates the total greenhouse gasses emitted by the activities of individuals and organisations – may be useful in addressing excessive carbon emissions, but not the depletion of non-renewable resources.

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