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.
His remark was captured in this tweet from Nature News reporter Lauren Morello, who was at the event:
Musk: "You could take a corner of Utah and Nevada and power the entire United States with solar power." #AGU15
— Lauren Morello (@lmorello_dc) December 15, 2015
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. [Continue reading…]