Commercial aircraft run on large amounts of jet fuel. These planes crisscross the globe, taking off and landing at many airports across the globe, whose land can be crucial for a successful airline’s ability to operate. This new report shows how aviation destinations, in addition to airports, can be compatible with solar energy.
However, with limited airspace, operating lands and reroutes that allow commercial aircraft to land on airport runways, and soaring tides and ocean surges that could potentially wash both aircraft and landings away, these new airport-complementary applications could complicate negotiations. Finding solutions that can mitigate the challenges will likely require working closely with local officials and airport planners.
Work must begin early. By 2025, nearly 25% of the global population is expected to live in cities. Large cities place a lot of strain on the land in their catchment areas. Since developed cities are mainly surrounded by built up areas and have low levels of natural resources, the need for sites to house large solar power projects that can expand later in the process is critical. Due to scarce land and, in most cases, the need to conserve energy for urban growth, planning for alternative energy sources will be key to meeting global demand for cleaner energy in the coming decades.