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Wind Power Question: How much space do wind turbines require to operate?

Answer: The wind is a diffuse form of energy, in common with many renewable sources. A typical wind farm of 20 turbines might extend over an area of 1 square kilometer, but only 1% of the land area would be used to house the turbines, electrical infrastructure and access roads; the remainder can be used for other purposes, such as farming or as natural habitat.

To obtain 10% of our electricity from the wind would require constructing around 12,000 MW of wind energy capacity. Depending on the size of the turbines, they would extend over 80,000 to 120,000 hectares. Less than 1% of this (800 to 1,200 hectares) would be used for foundations and access roads, the other 99% could still b used for productive farming. For comparison, between 288,000 to 360,000 hectares is covered by roads and some 18.5 million hectares (77%) are used for agriculture.

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