Elon Musk: We Can Power America by Covering Small Corner of Utah With Solar

Written by on December 21, 2015 in Eco-Friendly, Environment with 131 Comments


Lorraine Chow | Eco Watch

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has once again championed the incredible potential of renewable energy.

During an interview Tuesday at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in San Francisco, the 44-year-old CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX said that the U.S. could meet its electricity needs just by covering a small corner of Utah or Nevada with solar panels.

Related Article: Renewables Can Create Jobs and Heal the Planet

Musk made a similar statement during his speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris on Dec. 2.

“Let’s say if the only thing we had was solar energy—if that was the only power source—if you just took a small section of Spain you could power all of Europe,” he said. “It’s a very small amount of area that’s actually needed to generate the electricity we need to power civilization. Or in the case of the U.S., like a little corner of Nevada or Utah would power the United States.”

While Musk’s statement might sound a little too good to be true, as Tech Insider reporter Rebecca Harrington noted, we already have the technology to do it. More power from the sun hits the Earth in a single hour than humanity uses in an entire year, yet solar only provided 0.39 percent of the energy used in the U.S. last year.

Related Article: Sweden Makes Moves to Stop Using Fossil Fuel and Run Entirely Off Renewables

This is why Musk thinks that solar will become the biggest energy source by 2031, as he told Tim Urban from Wait But Why. If solar is 20 percent efficient at turning solar energy into power, as it has been in lab tests, we’d only need to cover a land area about the size of Spain to power the entire Earth renewably in 2030.

Indeed, photovoltaic technology is growing in leaps and bounds. In October, renowned solar installer SolarCity (where Musk sits as chairman) unveiled a solar panel that can achieve a peak efficiency of 22.04 percent, and that’s just for residential rooftops. On an industrial scale, theworld’s most efficient solar cell has about double the efficiency of SolarCity’s new panels at 44.7 percent.

Related Article: New Rooftop Solar Panels Are 30 – 40% More Efficient

The Land Art Generator Initiative also crunched the numbers and determined that the surface area required to power the whole world with solar would fit into 191,817 square miles of solar panels, or roughly the area of Spain.


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  1. 164423140560781@facebook.com' Quezley Stitch Snipes says:

    Do you really think the oil barons and the oligarchs will allow their fossil fuel empire be threatened by renewable cheap/free energy? Will they fuck!

    • 1551056705134980@facebook.com' Cheryl Kelley says:

      The people need to wake up and do something, they are gutless.

    • 164423140560781@facebook.com' Quezley Stitch Snipes says:

      I agree Cheryl, but it’s going to take a civil war, mass protest will not change the current system.

      • Jellyfossil@yahoo.com' Mike Smart says:

        Complain no gain that where lefties loose over all. If economic jus pay 15-20 and all the over/time unlimited—- soon solar stock will look like oil is now.ya do know that invest is up to those that take the market… JP Morgan types unwelcome historically….

      • brianthrice@gmail.com' BT says:

        Not a civil war, a world wide revolution. There’s a difference.

    • 10208282178560551@facebook.com' Matt Sikorski says:

      I agree, Quezley Stitch Snipes . It is against big energy’s interest

    • 1272019246148789@facebook.com' Rosemarie Fagan says:

      If the oil barons had any sense they would be buying up the renewable resources industry and making their fortunes by making the world green.

    • 10153110295575614@facebook.com' Alex Biddle says:

      Rosemarie Fagan that would involve no wars, and boy do they love wars

    • 10205738969973805@facebook.com' Walt Rippa says:


    • pietersa@loxinfo.co.th' Pieter Schoonheim Samara says:

      There’s another solar technology where another genius took some ideas of Einstein where they take sand and heat and compress it into a plasma. All the impurities drop out and they are left with pure thin skin Si (Silica)
      The Si generates at least 100x more energy than the current Solar Panels at a tiny fraction of the cost. So, that’s coming up soon. Almost free energy.

      • Vaughn.Nicole2@gmail.com' Kolie says:

        Those are already available from my company, SunPower. Our max won cells produce more electricity bc of our Maxeon silica panels. 🙂

      • `jamespdwhite@me.com' Diego Blanco says:

        if you stop eating animals, you will personally do so much to improve the planet, thank you and happy new year

        • friday1979@gmail.com' J says:

          That’s not happening..I’m eating one now as I type this…local chicken….mmm

          • info@network007.com' Yevez NutZ says:

            51% of green gases emissions are from animal agriculture and local or not it’s a huge waste of ressources. Can’t feed the world with the way we eat but of course you don’t care. Inform yourself before making insensitive comments: http://www.cowspiracy.com

        • fbb23451@aol.com' deeptubes says:

          Eating cooked meat is what allowed some of us to grow large, capable brains and led to the rise of man.

          • bbotje@xs4all.nl' bert says:

            True, altough it was meat AND cooked food, not ‘cooked meat’ per se 😉 needed for the energy consumption of a big brain. And now we can use that big capable brain to conclude that continuing eating meat on a daily basis in a world with 7 billion (2040 maybe 11 billion) is not the way to survive. Deforestation for soja animal feed, methane farting and animal cruelty: we dan do better than that! And there’s enough alternatives now to feed our big brains…

      • ollister2003@yahoo.com' Olliver Hollister says:

        If solar cells are getting more than 20% of the sun light’s energy now, 5 times that would be all the energy provided by sun light. So how could anything get 100 times as much energy from sun light?

    • chuckp@gmail.com' reggie says:

      He’s talking about 15 years from now for God’s sake. And yes, people will opt for free energy over paying for gas. You people and your conspiracy theories.

    • davisholm1@gmail.com' Davis says:

      The Oil Barons are on their way out whether they like it or not, and these last few wars in the middle east are their part of the last hurrah before going the way of the dinosaurs if they do not see this fact and change their business models to a greener perspective overall . The public is going to have a” Marie Antoinette “style reckoning when Millennials are not going to vote in favor of them and that is going to cause a schism of power…. an all inclusive and accepting world has no place for fascism whatsoever. If elitist fsacist think they can keep it up they got another thing coming, I say

    • bwmmiller@nexicom.com' Bruce Miller says:

      Oil Barons and Oligarchs, Big Business, and Multinational conglomerates have already set up American peons for the biggest screwing ever: Solar Cell Tariff
      Did you know that American citizens pay huge “tariffs” on Chinese solar panels (200+%) because: American industrialists found it cheaper to bribe (lobbyists) government officials to impose “so-called’ dumping tariffs than to do as the Chinese have done: Invest heavily in totally automating their factories, streamlining their production systems, spending on research for faster, cheaper, better, SMARTer ways to compete on world markets, spend money on scientists to make more efficient product.
      By this action, U.S. manufacturers have ‘opted Out” of the huge world wide market for these items? This is not good for the working stiffs, the voters in America at all, after all they used to be “Manufacturers to the World”

      • Snook987@gmail.com' Snook says:

        Sorry….but offshoring manufacturing and jobs is not streamlining anything. They don’t pay their workers or treat them humanely either. WE made China what it is today. This globalization bullshit was created by corporate America…..

    • donaldbgoff@gmail.com' Don says:

      Snipes… They are already ahead of us in investment in solar! They realized long ago that oil for fuel was going away, but oil for other products (plastics, lubricants, medicines, etc.) will be around for the next 100 years. They have been investing in ‘commercial’ wind and solar projects and trying to tie up your and my ability to sell our excess production from our home electric output to the power companies. Wake up friend! You are thirty years behind.

  2. 1495588620746926@facebook.com' Lindsey Potsurfer says:

    That’s awesome.lower the energy bills mmmkay thanks!

  3. 1488887064767478@facebook.com' Max Davies says:

    If the deserts were covered in solar panels there would be enough power for everyone.

  4. 10153626651650862@facebook.com' Deana Costa says:

    Would be nice to have cheap electricity. I live in northern Ontario Canada and just got my $900 hydro bill for the month of November! That’s more than my mortgage payment. All I could do is cry. :(. Merry Christmas Hydro One! Least someone gonna be merry.

    • Bonebag3@gmail.com' Jedino says:

      Wow. You must be a huge waster or indoor pot grower to have a bill that large. Not so nice, change your ways or stop complaining!

  5. 1165025076844761@facebook.com' Jim Ehmer says:

    I agree! Do it..

  6. 10205231703179940@facebook.com' David Hartmann says:

    Rebuild the grid with solar? I would rather see off grid green houses as the cornerstone of our energy policy

    • jim@jimzivicdesign.com' Jim Zivic says:

      I agree with David Hartmann. Now that Tesla is building massive battery factories in both North America and Europe, the missing link, STORAGE of electricity is coming very soon, through SolarCity, with lease agreements available for both panels, as well as the battery packs (powerwall). We should be free from the grid. We should also be catching our own water off the roof and storing in tanks, tie into solar power and filter, pump and use our own water. I’m doing this in Calif.

  7. 10153336425453602@facebook.com' Nigel Sleath says:

    Any thing to save our planet. This guy needs to be listened to.

    • 10207645036467685@facebook.com' Ken Boddy says:

      Like his idea to nuke Mars to make it warmer? Just like that idea, there’s a better way to go about this – utilizing the endless source of rooftops and parking lot spaces, instead of the crackpot idea of tampering with one of most beautiful states in the country.

      • Aaa@aol.com' Bryan A says:

        This is why we will never have solar energy. Someone out there will always have a problem with how we do it so it won’t get done.

    • 10153336425453602@facebook.com' Nigel Sleath says:

      Agreed. Still has to be better than the current way that most countries are doing it by ravaging the planet for all the natural non replaceable fuels that is happening now. We need to explore all areas if renewable energy before it’s too late. Nuking Mars is a bit stupid though !

  8. 174919346191749@facebook.com' Alex Davies says:

    Hope he has his personal security worked out well

  9. 10207645036467685@facebook.com' Ken Boddy says:

    Why the hell do we want to cover up the most beautiful state in the country, when there are miles and miles of roof tops, and miles and miles of parking lots just waiting to be covered by solar producing cells? I hate this idea just as much as his suggestion to ‘nuke Mars to make it warmer’. Stick lowering the coast of your electric cars.

    • 132823023741944@facebook.com' Tony Godwin Jr. says:

      Utah is the most beautiful state? It’s just land.. that we don’t own. Lol

    • 10207280083616426@facebook.com' Scott Anderson says:

      it’s an EXAMPLE. it doesn’t have to be in that state. it could be anywhere. open your mind, for fucks sake.

    • 10207645036467685@facebook.com' Ken Boddy says:

      Tony Godwin Jr. Southern Utah, with it’s red rock, canyons, 4 national parks, other national monuments, mountains, rivers, junipers, pinions. Do you want me to go on?

    • 10207645036467685@facebook.com' Ken Boddy says:

      Scott Anderson Oh, my mind is OPEN – why do we need to cover over our land, causing more environmental issues, when, as i said above, we have thousands upon thousands of square acres of rooftops, and parking spaces waiting to be covered over for LOCAL energy production (instead of using long power lines, which will lose a great of energy on the way). What about your mind – is it open enough to see this reality?

      • Xedora@gmail.com' Niccolai says:

        Arguements that can be made in favor of putting large clusters in the desert:

        Maintenance: the cost of maintenance would surely be lower if they are in one central area

        Climate: covering the roofs of america in solar panels also means covering the solar panels in rain ice sleet snow… Portions of the country get poor light for solar use. Northern states get harsh winter weather. Tornados hurricanes.. None of that happens much in the desert. Also think of corrosion in the desert vs the top of a new england roof.

        Also: as the article states, there are innefficient residential panels, and highly efficient commercial panels. The high efficiency versions are most likely the ones he was referencing and most likely wont go on all roof tops.

        And lastly, solar isnt even green in the first place. Roof tops vs in the desert is a retarded arguement because the environmental damage associated eith solar panel production and moning the necessary materials make it all pretty much as innefficient, dirty, and unethical as burning oil and coal in the first place.

    • 430853797111432@facebook.com' Roy Meurin says:

      He wasn’t suggesting we actually do it. As with the Spain comparison, he only mentions it to give a sense of scale. He seems like an intelligent guy so I’m sure he would agree that there are better places to put panels rather than cover up natural areas, like rooftops.

    • 10207645036467685@facebook.com' Ken Boddy says:

      Roy Meurin It doesn’t really matter, what state is, or where it is, as far as I’m concerned. My main argument is that Elon Musk is suggesting the wrong idea for now. Our priority should be rooftops, and parking lots. Once again, as I have mentioned a number of times above, we have a seemingly endless amount of space for these devices, which are not being utilized, which would bring locally produced power, instead of having the source come from some remote spot, thus using an inefficient transfer method, and creating further environmental havoc, as we are currently seeing in California’s Mojave.

      • exasperated@sophont.com' exasperated says:

        Do you often hear a whooshing sound? That’s the sound of analogies and the point of statements whooshing over your head. Perhaps you are really a masterful troll, if so, congrats. If not, for the last time, that statement was to give the sense of scale of how much area needs to be covered. Elon’s other company, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SolarCity has for years BEEN DOING EXACTLY what you are saying he should do.

    • 10207280083616426@facebook.com' Scott Anderson says:


  10. 1224073797608829@facebook.com' Jeremy McArdle says:

    Thank you Mr Musk.

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  12. 10153716336619721@facebook.com' Greg Heckaman says:

    He is right,, solar is now competitive,, done in quantity it will dominate energy production

  13. 10204583275173155@facebook.com' David Massey says:

    Elton Musk you are the man, can I come work for you……

  14. 10207794154190245@facebook.com' Neil Harrell says:

    Let’s do it!

  15. 984652494891450@facebook.com' Don Field says:

    America will stop living in the. Ways of old

    • 10156342230755284@facebook.com' Kelly Colbourne says:

      No they won’t. Not until there’s absolutely no more oil to be found in nature. However, some day in the future, they will invade Canada for fresh water.

  16. 10156424819360171@facebook.com' Wanda Bouvier says:

    Elton Musk is brilliant ?

  17. 1236321939728295@facebook.com' Daniel Platten says:

    I think it is a wonderful idea! Please proceed.

  18. 606533142783310@facebook.com' Buck Rogers says:

    It would certainly not hurt anything.

  19. 1084681818229968@facebook.com' Phoenix Blue says:
  20. 1084681818229968@facebook.com' Phoenix Blue says:

    Make it happen

  21. 10153305902573379@facebook.com' Jim Templeman says:

    Even of we put one on every house just to run a hot water heater it would cut energy costs out more than halve. Water heaters in most homes are #1 energy consumer.

  22. 1614087908816035@facebook.com' Justin Carter says:


  23. 1528713467455630@facebook.com' Godknows Khumalo says:

    Dont destroy the ozon layer you gready bellyionare mother fucker rip

  24. 1540492046268335@facebook.com' Mike Strutter says:

    Visions and dreams ?

  25. 476489845890969@facebook.com' Dave Sage says:

    I would rather see them cover most every rooftop in the country first.

  26. 10153558774771774@facebook.com' Liam Havard says:

    yeah or everyone can just get their own Keshe Foundation battery. https://www.keshefoundation.org/shop-et-livres/kf-products

  27. 925503330832346@facebook.com' Cheryl Lynn Gibbs Bowen says:

    I would rather see a renewable energy that is not for profit where individuals have solar panels rather than more of nature being covered up like we have done so far with concrete.

  28. 10153209671679080@facebook.com' Mike Coats says:

    Lets make it happen!

  29. 10207009945279703@facebook.com' GAry Sansom says:

    or Idaho, or wyoming,, or new mexico, or md california..eastern oregon..

  30. 10208341804091762@facebook.com' Justyna Bartoszewska says:

    unless the sun will change its route and there will be alaska everywhere on earth ! then the solar panels will be unusefull !

  31. 10206921649732317@facebook.com' Terence Hill says:

    Oh no that would not work, for all the corrupt energy providers who monopolize and manipulate the energy sector. lol. Elon is a genius threat, I hope his vision is accepted and brought forward throughout the world.

  32. 10153138043982894@facebook.com' Charles Barton Lamb says:

    I figure that we should protect him now if he doesn’t have any security. “They”, the established energy interests will sooner or later try to knock him off. Yeah, I’m paranoid, but given the history of big business……:P

  33. 193590414310713@facebook.com' Greg McPhee says:

    Geof Tymiak

  34. 10206374225807628@facebook.com' Charlene Jones says:

    yup…true dat!

  35. 1652033628418463@facebook.com' Norma Cardenas says:

    And solar is more plentiful.

  36. 1031112260274025@facebook.com' Linda Baldwin Avila says:

    Great idea but a national grid is not a good idea. Too vulnerable. We need small grids (maybe neighborhood size) that can use a variety of available energies (waves, currents, solar, wind, geothermal). Connecting them one to another is a possibility but they should be able to work independently. I’m grateful for Musk’s work and hope to someday be able to afford one of Tesla’s batteries!

  37. 10207625624305858@facebook.com' Darrell Seals says:

    Big oil and DC politics will blow this at every turn.

  38. 1614784315457665@facebook.com' Roland Jacko says:

    why not?

  39. 10153802358639176@facebook.com' Al Hudson says:

    Why Utah? Why not Nevada desert?

  40. 975394419166087@facebook.com' Richard Finetto says:


  41. 10153075854715848@facebook.com' Clayton William Lucas says:

    Please do.. just that, Mr.Billionair sir. I’m tired of hearing how the change is up to me. I’m officially tasking you to get this done Mr.Musk. Pull some damn strings. OH and look he only mentioned America. That’s not good enough. See how the miliatry spreads across the planet? We need to do that with privilege, power, medicine and food.

  42. 10206405734080798@facebook.com' Marguerita Alison says:

    one country has started doing roads and driveways

  43. 10154480541798378@facebook.com' Tom D. Harry says:

    The ‘big’ one in energy is thermal,not electrical!So don’t fool anyone with some dreams…spill out the whole energyrequirement for a continued relatively comfortable livestandard,and where its gonna come from?

  44. 944092678995002@facebook.com' Tony Morrow says:

    hell we waste enough energy already!

  45. 521845031285249@facebook.com' Melbourne Coach says:

    Yes he’s a world changer. Very few of his caliber alive today. Love his work and his cars rock!

  46. 10208152698640395@facebook.com' Douglas Holbrook says:

    We really shouldn’t go thru with this. They will soak up all of the sunlight and the plants will die.

  47. 154267011604101@facebook.com' Savudin Simsirpasic says:

    africa have most of world deserts…deserts are full of sun and nothing cant be build on them except solar power facility’s .if any 1 build only 1 solar power plant,big enough ,he can suply world with clean eletric power and in same time he dont waste or destroy any thing.and if they menage to produce so much power,they can transport that energy on any part of world they want….but they dont….they need faosile fuel profit …no profit in cheap energy ,especially if that energy is produced on 2 continent,where they dont have full economical and political control

  48. 970811042961331@facebook.com' Robert DeLeon says:

    Elon Musk is brilliant – years ahead of his time!

  49. 929476870427506@facebook.com' Lauren Tasker says:

    Youre joking right? How the hell are we supposed to get energy from the sun with all the geoengineering blocking it out more than half the time?

  50. 10205317730479394@facebook.com' Norman Malcolm says:

    Ah it’s a shame,he will probaly be found somewhere with a gun shot through the head and it will be classed as a suacide.

  51. 203406900003253@facebook.com' Jeanne Reese says:

    I hope he lives long enough to make it happen. He needs our support. Hero.

  52. 10156207014275013@facebook.com' John Burns says:

    So 191,817 sq miles of solar panels sited in sunniest areas of the earth could provide all the power needed. Time they got busy then.

  53. 887590221337176@facebook.com' Brian Buchan says:

    Sounds fishy but if it is the truth go for it!!

  54. 10206045713960306@facebook.com' Thomas Chenhall says:

    Carry on with the project!

  55. 10208035263862087@facebook.com' Terry Evans says:

    It’s worth a try. Why not?

    • matachen@gmail.com' C says:

      Because solar panels A) have a limited lifetime and B) require rare earths which are in deposits that are C) completely controlled by the Chinese military. The Chinese have already used this control to force Japan to cede territory. If we went down this path in 20 years we would be begging China for the chance to power our own country, at prices that are grotesque. Windmills require rare earths too.

  56. 162777997411301@facebook.com' Mana Michelle says:

    Just Do It…!! I wish I had the smarts to figure all this stuff out

  57. 558183820999362@facebook.com' Samuel Douglas Burnett says:

    And they would kill u for doin so. ..

  58. 10207178693199339@facebook.com' Stan Mrak says:

    Folks, our military has had FREE energy technology for 60 years but they’re not going to tell us about it. It would bring down the entire energy cartel. Yes, it’s true. Check out Steven Greer with The Disclosure Project.

  59. 10153383841726847@facebook.com' Bruce Leenoo says:

    Nothing new

  60. 10206500897933858@facebook.com' Jurgen Knorr says:

    don’t put all solar in one area as with the world the way it is it will make it easier for the enemy to bring a country to its knees

  61. 1741311196092955@facebook.com' Mary Esther Aguirre says:

    What would happen to our enemies if we no longer depended on them for oil? Think about it! This is the way!

  62. 922436607835078@facebook.com' Kelvin K. Harris says:

    You should never concentrate all your energy in one location. When strike at that location and the nation would be down you must go with the decentralized system of power

  63. 10153491927943227@facebook.com' James Roberts says:

    He Is one of Many Visionary making sense and proof of Free – Renewable Energy. Having the company name TESLA says it all.
    Even the Rockefeller Family know of this. That is WHY they have turned there investments AWAY from Fossil fuels to Renewable Energy.
    In other words Goodbye Petrol Dollar. Fact . Watch this space – its happening already folks. And you All Can thank Mr N TESLA. (one of the worlds Genius who was kept in cotton wool in the Basement for sometime in New York – 1800s to complete and research Top Secret information , unfortunately sponsored by a Corupt Banker JP Morgan.
    Now TESLAs information is also being built in Russia. A Tower that provides and potentially gives out Free Energy to an entire Nation.

    Its time now to use the Tesla research for the entire world and with this comes a Sense of freedom, conscious freedom… that has been kept only for the elite.
    Not anymore. – Support this Man he is passing it on.
    If you have no idea about Renewable Energy vs Fossil fuels the primary is Gospel. Still unsure Do your own Research on “Nikola Tesla”

    Its a No Brainer. Why listen to Corupt Governments telling you to pay for your enegy when there is an option of having it for FREE.

    The choice is yours ?

  64. 1093822170630913@facebook.com' Marc Perna says:

    this man should be given an endless supply of money

  65. Brainbites2010@gmail.com' Lincolnx says:

    Local generation saves losses due to transmission, and protects against crippling attacks on power grids. Much more attractive than creating another solution that big business can slap a meter on.

  66. Mandrewsmith@gmail.com' Mark Smith says:

    Why stop with some of Utah? Let’s cover all of it with solar panels. For the good of our country 🙂

  67. andeq@icloud.com' Andrew says:

    the problem isnt collecting the solar power; it’s storing it efficiently:

  68. Joseph Smith Jr. says:

    Leave southern Utah alone. It is a desert paradise and a unique natural location. Rather, cover Salt Lake City, and more preferably, Provo Utah. Covering over the mecca of the LDS would be saving the planet from a human culture gone wrong.

  69. larithelegend@gmail.com' Lari G Bollinger says:

    They have already covered Texas and New Mexico in them but will not turn them on. He wants fucking grant money to build more. That’s great….BUT turn the ones they built five years ago that sit dormant on first. Their excuse is the grid wont handle the amount these put out so they sit doing nothing because they refuse to upgrade the grid. Notice also the grid works fine with electricity made by other sources besides wind. Maybe wind needs to hire some representatives and send them to Washington to make some deals.

  70. gary@foreconomicjustice.org' Gary Reber says:

    That would be a super clean alternative source and would effectively put traditional energy producers out of business. How about EVERY citizen OWNING a piece of this humongous business endeavor through the vehicle of a Citizens Land Bank, a for-profit, professionally-managed, citizen-owned-and-governed community land planning and development enterprise, designed to enable every citizen of a community of any size to acquire a direct ownership stake in local land, natural resources and basic infrastructure. See https://www.cesj.org/resources/articles-index/citizens-land-bank-what-it-is-and-is-not/

  71. messiahmews@yahoo.com' MessiahMews says:

    It would be SOOOOO NICE, if I could come to a website without having to fight off offending javascript popups obscuring the page. It’s rude.

    There’s more than enough room at the side column to put the facebook page, or subscribe, or whatever instead of having readers to fight off these things. Please keep in mind that SmartPhone users can’t always X out of these aggravating javascripts.

  72. highradiance@gmail.com' Amano Khambata says:

    For peace on planet earth relocate Israel to an adjacent corner of Utah. If you give the Jews distribution rights they will happily move.

  73. rmwuk@yahoo.co.uk' Richard Wilson says:

    We have solar panels here in rainy old England, and will soon have paid back the installation costs. .
    Our government pays a subsidy for part of the electricity we generate and send to the natiional grid. This has encouraged others tio invest in solar panels.
    I can’t say that it is a thrilling sucess – our hours of direct sunlight are limited – but, on a little by little basis, we are helping to reduce our carbon dependency.
    As batteries improve as quickly as they now are doing, we might well and soonish see some of the electricity we are generating stored in batteries in our cellar.
    Meanwhile, even in England, we can switch off our hot-water heater at the end of May and do not have to switch it on again until the end of September. Yes, even in England,we do take showers. We increased the size and insulation of our hot-water storage cistern.
    Suggestion: do some research. We consulted a number of energy efficiency studies before investing. Even a only couple of hours with Google would be a start.

  74. andrewbb@gmail.com' Andrew Bransford Brown says:

    Better yet, we could build a pipe from San Diego over the continental divide and cover it with solar panels. Hydroelectric + solar + natural resources + cleaning the oceans.

  75. ram.samartha@gmail.com' Ram Samartha says:

    He needs to do what Ford General Motors and Firestone and Texaco and Standard Oil and all did in the 30s, 40s, and 50s and buy up the old technology (at that time electric street cars) and put a new vision and multi-generational legacy into place. He has the money and technology to make this a better planet but he instead he wants to go to Mars. Go figure.

  76. fmjudson@gmail.com' fred judson says:

    I love the idea but don’t understand how it works at night unless there are zillions of small tesla batteries all over the world. How will it work? I’m not against it, just don’t understand this point.

  77. jasongebauer@gmail.com' Jason says:

    For the entire country to rely on power from a single source would be crazy. I think the point is that solar could easily power the country. Small solar fields all over the country would be great as long as a backup power source exists for each

  78. AvangionQ@yahoo.com' Michael Q. Rudnin says:

    He’s talking about the total land space required, not that all of it has to be concentrated in a single zone. Electric power has to be local, as there would be too much loss the further away from the source you get. The best choice would be to distribute the solar power on rooftops. https://phys.org/news/2015-09-price-solar-energy-states-fallen.html

  79. maryjaki@oxfordnetworks.net' Walter J. Jasniewski says:

    You have to remember that “Ole Sol” has been powering the Earth for a billion years and we the inhabitants have slowly adapted our selves to take advantage of this free fuel source although when someone comes up with a method there is sure to be some entity that will try to squash it. Mr. Musk has a great idea but companies are going to fight him,ie, no oil burned there goes big oils profits. Musk came back with one of those old eliminated technologies with his electric car, the biggest hurdle with solar is a way to store it when the sun sets we may need a back up source.

  80. dlrlewis@gmail.com' Darrell Lewis says:

    then the only problem remains getting the electricity to every home, factory and commercial building in America…but wait 120 million homes have carbon based heating systems. The cost and time to replace those 120 million systems plus virtually every non-residential building in America is the real problem. It will take many many decades and tens of trillions of dollars.

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