With the significant move towards electric vehicles, renewable energy, and a green lifestyle, it begs the question, “can everything be run on solar power?” The sun irradiates so much power that it could truly provide enough energy to run everything, as long as we can capture enough of that energy that is constantly hitting us.
The short answer is, yes, we can run everything on solar power. But multiple parts of that answer have to be explored to make it work. The different parts consist of having enough solar panels to capture the necessary energy and using that energy via solar generators. Storing the energy properly to be used when solar panels aren’t enough. And having the expandability over time since our power needs are only growing. The primary issues that most solar generators can address include needing power at night, having power when there is poor weather, and dealing with geographical limits.
Power Everything, It’s Possible
Elon Musk, who is arguably one of the brightest people when it comes to electricity and renewable energy, said that it is absolutely possible to power the entire United States with solar panels and batteries. According to Elon, “If you wanted to power the entire United States with solar panels; it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada, Texas, Utah… you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels… And then the batteries you need to store that energy to make sure you have 24/7 power, is one mile by one mile. ”Elon said we’d need 10,000
square miles of solar panels to power the entire United States. The average household uses 30kwh of energy per day or every 24 hours. There are currently about 123,600,000 households in the USA. That means the entire USA uses 3.7 billion kWh of power per day at home. This does not account for business, industrial, or any other kind of power besides home power.
On average, it’s possible to make about 2,227.5kwh per day from one acre of solar panels. Since 640 acres fit into one square mile, that means it’s possible to make 1,425,600kwh of energy per day per square mile. With 10,000 square miles of solar panels, it’d be possible to make about 14.26 billion kWh of power per day. That should be enough to power not just all the households in the USA but also all of the businesses and industrial power as well.
But people and businesses don’t operate only when the sun is out. And that is why Elon Musk explained we would need batteries in order to store the energy so it can be used on demand. During the day we’d be able to recharge the batteries completely as well as run our entire grid directly from the solar panels.
Where to Put the Solar Plants?
Many would say it’s important to diversify solar power plants. This makes sense because when poor weather comes through it is very rare that it hits the entire United States all at once evenly. Generally, if an extremely large storm is hitting the east coast, the west coast does not have a storm.
It would make a lot of sense that major parts of the grid be split up to be powered by separate solar power plants. This way if a storm is covering a solar farm it doesn’t wipe out energy for the entire US. This would be good because then individual solar power farms can grow to meet the needs of their region or section of the grid.
But then again, certain areas get poor weather more commonly than others. For example, Arizona is the sunniest state in the entire USA. It is very common that when either the west coast or east coast has major storms, Arizona has bright sunshine. It is rare that Arizona has long cloudy and stormy days. In this regard, it would make a lot more sense to put solar panel power plants in Arizona because it is affected far less often by poor weather. This would mean that when other major parts of the country are affected by bad weather, they do not lose their power from solar panels because the solar panels are in a safe sunny area of the country.
New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas are the other top solar states due to how much sunlight they get. All four states have vast areas of land that are uninhabited and rarely have cloudy weather. By splitting the 10,000 square miles of solar power production between those four states, theoretically, it’d be very possible to never run out of power. Since it would be extremely rare that storms and poor weather would affect those areas all at the same time.
This means it makes a lot of sense to not have one major 100-mile by 100-mile solar power plant but rather have them relatively close in one region of the United States. Those states where the solar panels could go are also very rarely hit with major natural disasters. Many other states that are considered to be very sunny have natural disasters like tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes.
If 10,000 square miles of solar panels capture more than enough energy to run the entire USA then it would be wise to split it up into four 2,500 square mile solar power plants which would mean we would very likely never be without power even if one area is affected by poor weather.
Can Solar Power Meet The Growing Power Demands
One thing that is certain is that the United States is only consuming more power every year. Whether it’s because people are using more A/C in the summer, need more heat in the winter, because there are more electric vehicles on the roads daily, or cryptocurrency mining is becoming more popular. Regardless, the US needs the ability to continually grow its power production from year to year.
By having four major solar power farms it should be very possible to continually add more solar panels and solar components to each plant.
The power demands will change greatly over time and by region. Many states such as California are moving completely to using zero-combustion engines. Whether it is for cars, backup generators, or even dirt bikes, they are moving to have zero combustion engines anywhere. Which means they will need incredible amounts of solar panels and batteries to sustain that.
It’s a major problem since they’ve only just begun their move towards electric vehicles and motors only, and they already have major blackouts and brownouts commonly happening. They plan to use only renewable energy but can’t even sustain their current renewable energy demands. The infrastructure needs to be put in place to sustain that goal.
Don’t Wait for Them to Do it For You
The biggest flaw in this design is that people are unwilling to make enough of their own power to sustain themselves. People can do this now and be 100% self-sufficient for their own power needs and not depend on anyone else, the government or the grid to catch up with their own power needs.
To install 10,000 square miles of solar panels, power the entire United States, and never run out of power would cost tens of trillions of dollars. The solar panels alone would cost approximately 4 trillion dollars. The racks to hold the solar panels are roughly another 4 trillion dollars. The batteries are about 12 trillion dollars. Then all of the wiring and components to make it all work another 2 trillion dollars or more. Just that equals about 22 trillion dollars to do that. There’s no way that the US government can make that happen anytime soon without taxing every spare penny from people to the point of no one having enough money to put that money away for savings.
This is why it’s so important for people to get their own solar. For the average household that uses 30kwh of power per day, it can cost as low as $31,000 to go completely off the grid. That would be with 60kwh of battery capacity, 12,000w of solar panels, large enough inverters to run all possible power needs, and would last 20 years before needing to be upgraded. This is only possible if you’re capable of installing this on your own.
The big downside to all of this is that solar companies charge an arm and leg to accomplish that goal because they have to pay for their overhead, licensing, bonds, and operations. It is very expensive to run a solar company. This means a system like the one listed above would easily cost about $150,000 or more.
This is where the sweet spot comes in with solar-powered generators that work as backup power options for people’s homes. For about $20,000 it’s possible to have enough solar panels, battery, and inverter power to run all essential household devices and appliances during blackouts. If the goal is to simply make life easier when the power is out then a backup solar generator may be the perfect solution (a portable solar generator will also work).
There are no scary or tricky DIY electrical connections, no chance of hurting yourself, and no chance of shorting out equipment or causing fires. These units are pre-made. You plug them together and have an electrician install a control panel and when the power goes out your backup system begins running everything for you. When the grid power comes back on, it automatically switches back over to grid power and recharges the backup system.
It is 100% absolutely possible to power everything with solar power. The concept is quite straightforward. We have the land and good climate in multiple states for it. Financing is very difficult to do but that system would last a couple of decades before we saw significant inefficiencies in it. It could cost 22 trillion dollars to install it, but if we did that over a 10-year period, that is only 2.2 trillion dollars.
And regardless of which side of the political aisle you agree with, both sides of the aisle could stop spending more than 2.2 trillion dollars a year on things we don’t need and fund this quite easily. There would be enough jobs in the new solar power plants to provide jobs for everyone else who would lose their jobs from oil and gas.
But why wait for someone else to make this happen? Take control, and own your electricity outright. That’s the fastest solution and cheapest solution in the long run. It’s even possible to have electric vehicles with a home solar system and very likely never run out of power.
The best way to learn more about portable solar panels is by contacting Powered Portable Solar today.