Everyone has that one argument, one level, one opinion, the factor that no person is asking about, and nevertheless it consumes you. It’s not unhealthy, and it’s simply so unrealistic that you simply harp on it, as a result of if it ever did occur you’d get to say, “I advised you so,” and there’s completely no phrase extra satisfying.
For this author, it’s permitting NFL gamers to take part in Olympic Rugby, in order that the U.S. might dominate for gold every four years, for Elon Musk, it’s changing 100 sq. miles of the Arizona desert right into a solar undertaking with sufficient capability to energy the nation. It’s an old argument of Musk’s, however one he brings up incessantly.
It’s additionally an argument that as ludicrous because it sounds and logistically flawed as it’s, is technically potential – the very best type of attainable. Musk’s supermassive solar mission would require a patch of land measuring 10,000 square miles, with an accompanying battery within the one square mile ballpark.
Assuming using 24% environment-friendly modules throughout your complete challenge, researchers at University College London discovered that even below conservative figures (100×100 kilometers as a substitute for miles), the projection would feasibly work. 10,000 sq. kilometers, multiplied by 0.24 GW per square kilometer, multiplied by 0.21, comes out to around 500 gigawatts. By comparability, the nation’s annual electrical energy consumption charge was 425 gigawatts as of 2013, when this check was carried out.
In actuality, there’s a distinction between a risk and an answer. What Musk is offering is a chance. We could cover 10,000 sq. miles of desert in solar panels; however, a wholly centralized nationwide energy provides leaves the nation susceptible to continental outages within the occasion of a storm or cyber assault. Whereas catastrophic storms aren’t frequent within the desert and the energy grid has by no means sustained something close to that top-stage of an assault, why even pose the chance? That is even earlier than going into the regulatory and allowing sleep paralysis nightmare that might be securing land and public/authorities approval for the undertaking.