Elon Musk: We only Need 100×100 Miles to Power the US with Solar
The United States gets about 10% of its power from renewable energy sources like wind and solar. To achieve complete renewable power, Tesla CEO Elon Musk recommends we choose solar, making news when he presented this to the National Governors Association last week.
“If you wanted to power the entire US with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah,” said Musk Saturday at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Rhode Island.
“You only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States. The batteries you need to store the energy, to make sure you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile…that’s it.”
Why choose solar? Because the sun never lets us down.
“The sun is a giant fusion reactor in the sky. It’s really reliable. It comes up every day. If it doesn’t we’ve got bigger problems,” joked Musk.
The 46-year-old billionaire recommends we start the transition to solar by installing solar panels on rooftops in suburban areas and by setting up utility-scale panels in rural areas. This is a goal well within our reach.
Musk adds that we would need to take advantage of other renewable sources, like wind, geothermal, hydro, and maybe even nuclear, to achieve the transition.
Achieving complete solar power would eliminate over 1,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions or 35% of overall energy-related emissions in the US.
Two things he didn’t mention:
1. The economic boom that would be caused by the switch to solar.
2. How much money and power he stands to gain if the solar powers are all designed by his company.
In other news, Musk recently confirmed that Tesla will be building the world’s largest solar-powered battery to help South Australia with its frequent weather-caused blackout issues. The 100-megawatt lithium-ion system will store wind energy and according to Musk will “provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes.”
Editor’s note: Musk’s proposal is similar in design to what I proposed in my book The Energy Net. Unfortunately, he still retains some of the “blame, punish and sacrifice” mentality of the ‘climate change establishment.’ Considering his accomplishments as an entrepreneur, one would think he would have a better perspective.
Designing a market where others can participate unleashed the free enterprise engine that has made America what it is today.
By the way, my calculations say, 150 by 150 square miles to replace all energy in the U.S.
If you want to know how to do this right, without having the government go bankrupt building a huge monolithic solar farm, click on the book below.