There’s a lot of debate about whether or not solar power could feasibly power the entire country. A new report by Environment America and a breakdown by Treehugger’s Micheal Graham Richard is putting the final nail in the naysayers coffin. According to the information, the United States could easily power itself one hundred times over on solar energy in the not too distant future.
According to Environment America, even the states that get the least amount of sunlight – which get anywhere from 1 to 5 times the amount they need – still get enough energy to cover their own needs. Add to that the sunnier states that get more than enough, like just about the entire western half of the country, and there is plenty of energy waiting to be harvested.
Now set aside those massive solar farms and think about rooftop solar alone. With 35 million rooftops available for solar in the US, that’s a lot of untapped space. Factor in the fact that solar capacity just keeps increasing, and rooftop solar suddenly becomes very attractive. “If solar installations continue to increase at less than one-third of that annual rate of growth (22 percent) between 2013 and 2030, America would have enough solar energy to generate 10 percent of its electricity,” the report said.
That might sound like it would take forever at that rate, but keep in mind that growing to 10% generally takes longer than it takes to get from 10 to 50%. Combine all of this to the reality that many solar growth predictions have been far too pessimistic and it becomes evident that solar power might just be the solution we are looking for after all.