Blog Post
The Solar Energy Solution
I realize that the people who drift past this blog have been waiting for a solution to the energy needs of the United States (rest of the world be damned – yes, that includes England, Juliette. Find your own energy solution)
Using generally accepted numbers, solar panels convert about 10% +/- of the available energy from sunlight.
The United States uses about 4 petawatt-hours per year (4,000 trillion watts). In order to get that sort of coverage, we’d need to bulldoze and flatten a number of states. Better to stick with the states that are flat now to save money. Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, The Dakotas, Nebraska and the flat part of Tennessee. If we covered them completely in solar panels, we’d be moving in the right direction, providing that none of them were ever covered by snow (global warming should help – unless I’m right and we’re headed for an ice age). None of that surface area would account for increased need in the future.

For you math majors, you need to factor in clouds, maintenance, taking things offline, terrorist attacks on the grid that take part of it down from time to time and meteor strikes that could smash a big piece of the giant black piece of glass. Contingencies mean that we need a bigger space.

In order to save the crop-producing states, it might be better just to depopulate and level Africa and cover it with solar collectors. They work better at the equator because the sunlight striking the surface on a clear day generates more electricity. We need an area about the size of Australia covered in NOTHING BUT black glass – for the US only, given current needs.
Naturally, the progs will think that would be a great idea, but there is always the law of unintended consequences as a continent sized chunk of mirrored glass and the change in albedo would clearly impact global cooling. I know, if it’s at the equator, the glaciers would get to it last.


To save the Democrat Party we need to outlaw white bed sheets.

22 thoughts on “Solutions

  1. That's a great analysis of solar panel capacity.
    To save the democratic party, we must burn books.

  2. That's a lot of glass and yes, vulnerable to extremists. So why not build the panels in SPACE and beam the power back home.

    Clean, green and limitless. And it could double up as a handy weapon. The Green Beam.

  3. Burning yearbooks is only half of the solution. We need to put stakes in the ground, tie the politicians to them and THEN burn the year books, stacked at their feet, with a generous supply of accelerant tossed on them to assure a clean burn.

  4. Alas, the progressives are opposed to space exploration. Why spend money on space research when there are so many deserving homeless people here on the third rock?

    Your idea is sound, but as we all know, LSP, you are not progressive.

  5. Yeah, I was thinking of you when I added Kansas to the list. I think that we need to save Kansas and possibly pave over New Jersey? There are some hills in NJ, but we have the technology to level them out to a nice flat surface for solar collectors.

  6. LSP – as far as I know, Space Aliens don't vote Democrat. So no, there will not be a space outreach in the New Green Deal. Even though "green" is a color favored by aliens.

  7. "The Green Beam". I am so stealing that.

    The subject of sheets always reminds me of my time in Army basic training (Ft. Ord, 1974). One of our drill sergeants was both a Vietnam vet and Puerto Rican. On laundry day, would bellow at us "Chu peeples get chore cheets togeder!".

    Yeah, I know. I'm not progressive either.

  8. You might like this. actually I almost got stuck in a binge read looking for this for you.
    The lengths I'll go to…

  9. "The Green Beam". See my previous comment regarding this:

  10. Ed, you're one of those people who needs continual watching. I'm sure that the Overlords are doing that, tracking your binge reading as you search for the ultimate weather control. Embrace it.

  11. Imagine the impact on the climate with all those solar panels changing the amount of heat reflected back into the atmosphere.

  12. "….who needs continual watching"
    Have the nuns been talking to you?
    I thought they would have forgotten me by now.

  13. You forgot Iowa. It's pretty flat.
    Have we decided if the demoncrats will allow ships? Maybe we can cover a bunch of those big ocean going oil ships, that we won't need any more, with solar panels and anchor them at the equator…

  14. Only wind-powered ships, LindaG. All current commercial ocean going ships require hydrocarbons to propel them. In the new Green Deal age, I guess a solar powered ship would be acceptable, but nobody has developed a means of collecting enough energy through solar cells to reliably power a large ship.

    So we're back to clipper ships with sails. I would suggest that we could use carbon fiber sails but most carbon fiber is connected with petroleum, so maybe it's back to canvas sails. Since we would be doing away with our navy, I'm sure that piracy would return…job opportunity for me?

  15. You are definitely well versed to corner a good bit of that market, I suspect.
    Yes, no more carbon fibers. Those are in a lot more things than I am aware of, I'm certain.

  16. Linda G, the Green Movement wants to take us back to the 1800's, while wanting to pave the planet (literally) with solar cells and windmills, because you can't burn wood, or fossil fuels and nuclear energy is evil.

    They are fools.

  17. Ah, yes. Bring back the heady days of Cutty Sark. Oh! And when the sails wear out, we can recycle them as heavy duty jeans like Levis, and…wait. Whut?

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