Tesla CEO Elon Musk thinks that solar energy set up in a farm will be capable enough of powering the whole of the USA.
And to prove his point, he mentioned that setting up a 100x100 mile patch in a deserted corner of the country will be sufficient enough to keep the whole of USA powered up.
He made this intriguing statement via tweet few days back, replying back to a user, who mentioned that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, in this piece from 2011, doesn’t see solar energy as the best resource to generate power.
Gates had termed solar and energy efficiency are ‘cute’ but not the best way forward to tackle the challenges of climate change across the country and the world.
But Musk was unwilling to accept this statement from the Microsoft co-founder (even if it was from 2011), and said ‘he’s definitely wrong’
He’s def wrong. Solar power is a Gigawatt per square km! All you need is a 100 by 100 mile patch in a deserted corner of Arizona, Texas or Utah (or anywhere) to more than power the entire USA. This analysis goes through calcs https://t.co/fI1I452tm6— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 7, 2019
Musk explained that solar power is a gigawatt per sqkm, and a certain size of the solar farm will cater to the needs of the entire US population. He also adds a detailed study by UCL Energy Institute, which managed to calculate and see if Musk and his claims have a legit ground to work on.
The study also emphasises the point that investing in solar energy instead of nuclear plants for power generation will be less expensive. But most experts have mentioned that even if technically it is possible to generate that much power via solar, it is insane to think that Musk will get a land area as big as that.
Not to forget, solar generation needs constant supply from the sun, so unless, he decides to storage energy for lean/overcast weather conditions (which will be pretty expensive), you can’t afford a nationwide power cut for long duration.
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