Considering how much money, effort and infrastructure is used to create energy around the world, some people may be more than a little surprised how such a small amount of surface area on our planet can be used to power it completely, and then some:
(Image credit: Land Art Generator Initiative)
The global map above very clearly highlights how little overall land can be used to to generate energy from solar gain. And once you realize that the largest area square is in the middle of the eastern Saharan desert, between Egypt and Libya, it also becomes increasingly clear that such an environment can provide a maximum amount of sunlight annually simply due to the barren, Sun-drenched location. See, deserts CAN be useful!
(Image credit: NREL/Billy J. Roberts)
What is most fascinating about the Solar Resource map above, of the United States is not how much solar gain is possible in the extreme Southwest of the United States (duh), but how much solar gain potential is possible even in places such Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, etc – 4.5-5.0 kiloWatt hrs/m^2 per day is nothing to laugh at.
The point is (and we do have one) that there is SO much more potential for solar power and the surface has barely been scratched for what can be achieved in terms of sustainable energy independence.
There’s a lot more information you can read about Solar power initiatives at Climate Central, as well as spending a lot of time perusing fascinating information at the Land Art Generator Initiative site, so click the links for both and be enlighted..get it?