Can the US be Powered Only by Solar Energy?

Solar Panels

Amidst critics who have misleading claims on not having enough renewable sources of electricity to make it meaningful, there are plenty of facts that state solar power in the US could supply electricity to nearly 40% of the country.

The facts are inclusive of a research study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Nearly 40% of US electricity could be generated by rooftop solar power. The rooftop PV could offer nearly 1.1TW of electrical power and 1432TWh of annual energy generation. Another thought on the US’s electricity generation that could be handled by solar power is weaved around 11,200,000 acres of land, generating 4,000,000 GWh of clean energy.

Many large commercial buildings, residential building rooftops, parking lot rooftops, and single-family residence rooftops can offer solar power systems space. A source cited that California could generate much of its energy requirement without a lot of open space in the context. And, the myriad solar power scenarios for the US are not surprising.

Elon Musk, an expert on EV and clean energy, stated that to power the entire US with solar panels, one would need around 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels. This implies that open, unused land that was typically considered void of natural resources for humans could be used for solar power installations. Another aspect to consider is the cost that would change to reach scales. Experts believe that there are adequate wind power resources, geothermal, and pumped hydro storage, which implies no clean, renewable energy resources. It also implies that one needs to be more aggressive with clean energy.

Apart from this, solar power doesn’t need to be placed on the land to function, and it is possible to place solar arrays on water. China and Japan have floating solar power plants. The various solar power initiatives could facilitate the US to become more energy independent and reduce air pollution.

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