In an attempt to meld art, science, economics, and politics this morning (whew!), I thought you all might find this illustration of energy scales… well, illuminating. I’ve circled in green the amount of solar energy hitting the earth in one day, annual U.S. electricity consumption, and a single kilowatt hour of electricity. Since an average American household uses 900 kilowatt hours per month, you might begin to get a sense of how much energy this is in the much grander scale of things.
The amount of solar energy penetrating the planet in one day eclipses the total amount of electricity the U.S. consumes every year by TWO orders of magnitude. Just think, now that you know what $68 Billion dollars worth of concentrating solar energy can buy us, imagine what we could do with just a fraction of the $900 Billion we’re about to spend on our “stimulus” plan. We could easily harvest enough energy with that money to account for all of our annual electricity usage!
Last modified: January 30, 2009