K Graham wrote: ↑Sun Apr 03, 2022 11:14 pmI misspoke about the 100 sq miles, I meant to say 100 mile x 100 mile quadrant could be cut out of the southern desert and that would be enough to power the entire country. I didn't come up with the idea, Elon Musk did when he tweeted a response to Bill Gates after he called solar energy "cute."
I doubt it would require all that. Current home solar systems already tap into their public energy provider and in most states, those providers take any unused electricity and pay the homeowner for it. But naturally there would need to be more infrastructure involved that spans the country.I would also ask what would be the best way, if the plant was built, to feed the grid and actually get the power to the folks and businesses. One would have to disassemble all th e power sources.
As far as all energy in one place, I don't see the problem with having a hybrid system. If the primary source shuts down for whatever reason, we can use the backup that relies mostly on natural gas. And as yack already stated, the bulk of our energy is already consolidated in relatively few spots which if attacked, would serve the same purpose of bringing the country to its knees.
It would be 10,000 sq miles, but that's still a tiny fraction of all the unused open space we have in the South West. Look at the image above to get an idea what I'm talking about.Also do you think the environmentalists would “cut out and destroy a 100 square miles of desert, note that the Atlanta area is just over 130 square miles.
The impact on the environment should be a forgone conclusion. The time it would take to do this would all depend on how quickly we could fund it. Imagine a world where your monthly electric bill is always under $20 bucks.How many years would it take to do all the planning and environmental impact reports?
Okay 10.000 square miles, about the size of Vermont….
Kevin, you have to feed the grid! The power has to get from the “plant” to homes and businesses. There are thousands of power generating plants all over the US, i googled it and there are over 11k megawatt plants in the US…and assume many under that. From each plants there are “feeders” (conductors) that go to substations and alike, and then from there to local grids and then to homes and businesses within that grid.
So my point is that from the solar farm, conductors (wire) would need to stretch out around the country and tie into the out feeders from each existing plant, so the power can find its way to each home and business.
Then every home and business that is currently not all electric….would need to be revamped. Upgraded service panels, new heaters, water heaters, dryers, stoves and ranges. Plants and factories would also need to be upgraded. Schools and universities would need to be overhauled…hospitals, apartments, hotels and motels…what about restaurants…every gas serviced restaurant in America…just think about that alone.
This would take a 20 years or more to plan and complete a Environmental Impact report, again the size of Delaware, and generations to complete. And who is going to pay for all this? Where did you come up with a 20 dollar a month bill?
Plus who would own and regulate this plant?
What kind of emergency back up would you propose in case for what ever reason the plant went down for a period of time? Today, most large city systems are looped, so if one source goes down, another can pick up the slack…what would we do if the plant went down for say a few months because of a natural disaster or attack?
by the way, do you have that link for the North African plant that is under construction that will serve all of Europe you mentioned?