With 10,000 Sq. Miles Of Land And Elon Musk Could Power The Entire US
With 10,000 sq. miles, the entire United States of America could be powered with solar power alone. To be fair, one additional square mile would be needed to store that energy, or at least this is what Elon Musk estimates. So, how much is 10,000 sq. miles? Well, that’s roughly the size of Macedonia. Now, regardless of your points of view on this, if we are to survive as a species, this next step will have to be undertaken at a point in the very near future, either if we want it or not.
And even though the current US administration is keen on bringing back coal and oil as the main driving forces behind the nation, something that they still are by the way, the change that is taking place across the globe and in the US as well, will ensure that the fossil fuel era is at its twilight.
Speaking at National Governors Association, Elon Musk has laid down a plan where the entire nation could be powered by solar power alone. To date, the country draws only 15% of its energy from renewable sources. During this meeting, he talked about this plan where the United States needs only 10,000 sq. miles of land plus another one to power it in its entirety.
“If you wanted to power the entire United States with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States,” he said.
“The batteries you need to store the energy, so you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square-mile.”
In his talk, he describes the sun as an almost unimaginably large fusion reactor that releases enough energy every single second that we would not even know what to do with it all. He plans on using rooftop solar panels, dispersed all around the country, as well as solar farms at the outskirts of large cities.
But he also points out that an infrastructure such as this would need a lot of time to be put into place, and in the meantime, we should use transitional sources of power, outside of the realm of fossil fuels. These are alternative forms of renewable energy such as wind, hydro, geothermal and, of course, nuclear. Musk also encourages the use of as many local solar power outlets such as rooftop ones, since these would require far fewer power lines that we would need otherwise.
For those who are interested, here is the speech below. Elon Musk comes in around minute 26:00.