Check out what Musk says about solar around the 11 to 13 minute mark:
Forget the political stuff in this clip, the most interesting part (for a Solar Nerd) is where Elon Musk talks about the vast open land around nuclear power plants here in the USA and how that land area alone can be covered with solar… enough to replace the power generation from that nuke!
No one wants to live near a nuclear power generation facility, so covering no man’s land with solar makes a ton of logical sense.
Enough solar generation paired with energy storage in homes and vehicles, combined with a modernized power grid… the entire United States can be powered by 100% renewable energy in our lifetime.
The extra solar generated during the day can be stored in electric vehicles and also in stationary batteries installed in homes and businesses. As battery tech gets cheaper more and more homes will install a small battery bank, and power blackouts will become a thing of the past, even after a bad hurricane.
About 2% of my clients at Tampa Bay Solar have installed battery back-up systems, but we expect that number to climb as batteries get cheaper over the next 5 years. TBS is an authorized installer for the Tesla PowerWall storage device, which can easily be added to any existing solar array.
As individuals we can all put solar on our homes and drive at least ONE electric vehicle per household. Keep your gas sucking SUV for roadtrips, but buy an electric car for your 30 mile commute.
Or better yet, get a plug-in hybrid SUV that only uses gas if you drive more than 50 miles, which most people do NOT do on a daily basis.
My Chevy Volt runs on electric alone the first 42 miles I drive daily, before the gas generator kicks in. That first 40 miles of driving is using the kilowatts that were generated on my roof the day before. My solar is generating power RIGHT NOW as I type this at 11:30 in the morning in my home office.
…. I just walked out to my garage and looked at the lifetime energy production data on my SMA inverter bank…. 57,462 kilowatt hours… in other words, 57.5 MEGAwatts generated since the panels went up. My solar powered my 2013 Chevy Volt, which was smashed in an accident in 2019 and I replaced it with a newer 2017 Volt.
Almost 58 megawatts (58 MILLION watts) generated on my very average home over the last 4 years, most of that energy used in my home, but a large chunk also used to move my Chevy Volt down the highway.
Meanwhile, my neighbors who live around me have burned gasoline in their cars, and used multiple megawatts from the powergrid in that same span of time.
The cost of my (used) Volt was $20K, cost of the solar another $20K. My house is worth an extra $12K with the solar. Electric bill savings = $200 per month / $2400 per year / $24,000 per decade
Gasoline savings = $125 per month / $1500 per year / $15,000 per decade
Solar cost = $20,000 – $12,000 GAIN in home value = $8,000
yearly savings Gasoline $1500 + Electric $2400 = $3,900
Dead cost on solar $8,000 divided by $3900 per year = 2.05 year ROI on my rooftop solar.
Without the GAIN in real estate value?
$20,000 solar cost divided by $3900 per year = 5.12 year ROI on my rooftop array.
You know who doesn’t buy solar? Folks who can’t do math.
December 27th :::: 2021