cirby: The Irresponsible Captain:Well, it wouldn't take much....just an area equivalent to about 1/6 of the area of all of the urban/suburban areas of the planet.In other words, look at any city over about 50,000 people, and imagine covering 1/6 of that area with solar panels. And yes, that includes ALL of the area, roads, parking lots, buildings, trees, parks, lakes, et cetera.That's not even considering the cost. At $100/square meter (insanely cheap for an installed system with storage), you're looking at $100 million per square kilometer, times 400,000 kilometers = $40 trillion dollars. This is a fantastically low estimate...No, thanks.
cirby: There isn't going to be a "solar revolution" until someone comes up with a radically new and insanely cheap way to install and use the suckers.
cirby: That is true - but the same can be said for roofing in general - and getting a plain old shingle roof installed is still expensive as hell, compared to the cost of the shingles.Doing it yourself is easy, if you have the basic skills ...along with having the tools, the ladder, and some similarly-skilled friends who will work for free. And insurance to cover them if they fall off the roof (your insurance company would probably throw a fit if they saw those photos). And a city with a minimal permitting process. Even with your "savings" on labor costs, how much of the total price of the system did the panels themselves represent? Don't forget to include the permits and electrical contractor costs.Of course, there's the "free labor" issue. Just because you didn't write a check to yourself and your friends, the cost of labor is still there - they may have donated their time to you, but how much would a three-man crew cost for two days? Even at a low (for roofing work) $20/hour cost, you're looking at almost $1000 in off-the books labor there.For 90%+ of the urban population, none of that is really possible (due to lack of skills, fear of heights, and/or legal issues).
dryknife: DubtodaIll: The problem with solar isn't harnessing the energy, it's storing the energy for later use.But the upside is that solar generates during peak load time.
vernonFL: Betelgeuse is about 1000 times larger than our sun, so I would say that it is more of a candidate for "solar capital of the Universe" than Lancaster, Ca.
Sybarite: "I may be a Republican. I'm not an idiot."
JerseyTim: But what do the Amish think?
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