I really like this idea. If we invest in America it will pay off now and in the years to come. Like the Interstate Highway system (Eisenhower) or the Apollo program (Kennedy), our next leader must have a vision and courage to invest in our future — and done right, that will create jobs, and drive innovation.
Check this out from an article in Scientific Anerican which goes along with Al Gore’s call to invest in renewable Energy.
Development of such a system could provide almost three-quarters of the nation’s electricity by 2050.
The plan is basically:
- Construct a 30,000 square mile array of solar panels in the Southwest,
- along with concentrated solar power arrays and,
- a massive direct-current power transmission backbone to distribute electricity throughout the country.
- Excess power produced by the photovoltaic arrays would be distributed and stored as compressed air in below-ground caverns.
And here’s the benefits:
- With a massive investment in solar power plants and infrastructure, solar could provide 69% of US electricity and 35% of total energy (including transportation) by 2050.
- If wind, biomass, and geothermal power sources were also developed, the US could produce 100% of its electricity and 90% of its transportation energy (in the form of hydrogen) from renewable sources.
- To make this happen, the US would have to invest $10 billion per year for the next 40 years. For comparison, the US is now spending $12 billion per month for military involvement Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. The entire solar array would cost approximately 15% of the total bill for both of these operations.
- A conversion to renewable energy of this scale would displace 300 coal and 300 natural gas-fired power plants, and eliminate all imported oil. Even better, greenhouse-gas emissions would be reduced to 62% below 2005 levels.