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Old 07-17-2019, 04:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What Would It Take To Go 100% Solar?

Feel free to prove or disprove this guy's numbers.

Our population is only 324,000,000.


Isn't that the third-largest in the world? Sure, a quarter of #1 and #2, but still three hundred and twenty-four million people!

India has a billion people more than the U.S., but uses less than half of the electricity.

Ah yes, the Indian utopia, where everyone cooks with solar ovens and has r100 insulation!

I went to see how many homes even have electricity and this popped up first: 70% of India does not have access to toilets.

Supposedly all 600,000 villages in India have electricity, but those are villages, not necessarily every home in each village. "World Bank figures show around 200 million people in India still lack access to electricity."

India is not a good example.

They claim that all of Iceland's energy is renewable, except for cars, which are difficult to electrify.

[Tesla has entered the chat]

We could use geothermal in the U.S., but it would destroy river ecosystems and intrude on national parks.

If we say the U.S. uses 1.21 4,000,000 gigawatts and 3 acres per gigawatt-hour, we would need about 12,000,000 acres of land, but the U.S. is 2,400,000,000 acres, so we would need 0.5% of the land area of the U.S., or the space of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.

The detail that got my attention is "According to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, over 25 million acres of land in the U.S. alone are leased by oil and gas companies, over twice the area solar would require, while only providing 66% of our energy demand.

If we keep producing oil to sell to finance solar installation [wait, what?!], "Every year the U.S. Federal government offers up leases on federal land to oil and gas companies in the form of auctions. In 2017, the amount of land offered up reached nearly 12 million acres, but less than 800,000 acres received bids, so over 11,000,000 acres are still available, that the government already owns, but is not using.

In the U.S., over 21 million acres are used to grow corn with the specific purpose of converting it into ethanol to be used as a gasoline substitute. In fact, corn grown for ethanol production is actually the second-largest use of corn in the country [...] and accounts for 27% of all the corn we grow."

They say the southwest would be the ideal location to build solar farms, because the south receives the most sun, the west receives less precipitation, and the government owns far more land in the west than the east.

They estimate that it would cost $24 trillion dollars, while the U.S. GDP is $19 trillion. This would cost ten times as much as the war in Iraq.

Immediate problems:
  1. We would need to run electrical cables from New Mexico to New England?!
  2. Batteries are still cost-prohibitive.

What else?

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