A recurrent issue raised in discussions of renewable energy is land use – the amount of land occupied by solar and wind generation facilities, where these are located, and the extent to which using such land for power generation conflicts with alternatives such as human habitation, farming, or the conservation of natural resources.
The question of renewable energy’s land use is far from new. As early as 1979 it was explicitly outlined as a potential problem in a report for the U.S. Department of Energy, and it has subsequently emerged as an issue in several countries, leading, for example, to the Netherlands introducing restrictions on large-scale solar parks in 2019 because of concerns over competition with agriculture. In the Asian region, it has been debated in Indonesia, and in Japan several aspects of land use for power emerged as concerns in a recent survey of local governments.
[Charles Worringham ]