Assessing renewable energy potential on United States marginal and contaminated sites

Briana Niblick, Amy E. Landis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The United States has 121 million ha of marginal land that could be used to produce renewable energy. Approximately 1.73 million ha of this land includes federally funded brownfields, closed landfills, and abandoned mine lands. This study presents a GIS model to evaluate a range of site-specific energy production potentials on brownfields, closed landfills, and abandoned mine lands. Five energy sources are considered: soybeans, sunflowers, and algae for biodiesel, and solar and wind for electricity. Using soybeans, sunflowers, and algae, the United States could produce 39.9×103 TJ-59.1×103 TJ of renewable fuel per year from biodiesel. Using solar and wind resources, the United States could produce 114-53 TW h per year of electricity. The lower end of the range for each resource represents marginal yields as expected under marginal conditions. The upper end of the range represents prime conditions and is used for comparison to other, more productive types of land and U.S. regional climates. While renewable energy sources sited on individual sites may produce marginal amounts of energy, strategic uses of land and combinations of sources can supplement the national energy matrix. The five renewable energy sources examined in this study could meet up to 39% of the total U.S. 2013 energy demand for biofuel and electricity.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)489-497
    Number of pages9
    JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
    Volume60
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

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    Potential energy
    Abandoned mines
    Electricity
    Algae
    Biodiesel
    Land fill
    Biofuels
    Geographic information systems

    Keywords

    • Contamination
    • Geographic information systems (GIS)
    • Land use
    • Renewable energy
    • Spatial analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

    Cite this

    Assessing renewable energy potential on United States marginal and contaminated sites. / Niblick, Briana; Landis, Amy E.

    In: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 60, 01.07.2016, p. 489-497.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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