Kyle Sager Posted about 3 years ago David MacKay: A reality check on renewables There does seem to be at least a mild "spin" in favor nuclear and diminshing renewables. Other commenters observed this here and even major periodicals have posited that David's power requirements may be inflated by more than double. The conversation needs to be broader. Lastly, there is one important factor that he glosses over, especially given his theme: Rooftop solar. I categorically believe that the variety of renewable energy sources will solve our needs. I am also an avid solar advocate. But David's talk revolves around emphasizing how critical AREA is to the entire equation. And he then proceeds to blow past solar as though it "contributes a little but is not nearly enough" while ignoring some unavoidable observations: ALL rooftops represent wasted AREA until they are completely covered with electricity generation capacity. Until they provide power they represent lost AREA. Since the talk is "area intensive" to begin with, much greater analysis is warranted here. How much aggregate rooftop space is available per capita? In a perfect world, if all roofs were powered, what would that mean? What can we expect to happen as efficiencies continue improving? Are there other types of large "non-natural" AREAs that represent additional lost AREA: parking lots, waste water treatment, etc. Is it conceivable that with advanced technology even road surfaces themselves could one day harvest electricity. Again, I reiterate I do percieve that solar is only a piece of the solution; but in a math treatment of area these area factors were wholly dismissed.