Sometimes it seems that nuclear power advocates are attempting to insinuate that Japan doesn’t have enough land area to use solar energy in place of nuclear energy. Here’s what the solar panel requirements actually look like.
[Calculations: Electrical consumption per person is 8507 kwh per year. Daily consumption is 8507/365 = 23.3 kwh. Insolation at Tokyo is 4 kwh/day per square meter. PV panel efficiency is 15 percent. Panels per person = (daily consumption)/(insolation * efficiency) = 23.3/(4 * .15) = 40 sq. meters]
Here’s the graphic for all Japan:
[Calculations: Area per person = 40 sq meters. Population of Japan = 127 million. Total Area = (Area per person) * (Population of Japan)
= 40 x 127 million = 5080 square kilometers]
I don’t think it would be that difficult for the Japanese to dedicate this much land area to solar panels. Take the roofs of buildings and homes, then over roads and streets, and that should handle most of it.
At any rate, the required surface area is less than 1.4% of the total land area of Japan, and the extra crowding would certainly be less discomforting than the extra radioactivity they’re now experiencing.
(The radiation symbol is drawn to scale to cover the exclusion zone around Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant #1.)