Could the entire U.S. be powered by solar from just one corner of NV or UT?

Solar panels with cloudy sky backdrop

Elon Musk thinks solar power is underrated

Business magnate Elon Musk is known for his roles in various aspects of technology and business — from PayPal to SpaceX — and he is also a strong supporter of solar power and solar energy.

In fact, not only is Musk a big supporter of solar energy iniatives, but he thinks that the power of solar energy is drastically underrated at this point in time.

How little space is needed for how much power?

Musk spoke at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) back in December and

“The important thing to appreciate is if let’s say the only thing we had was solar energy, that that was the only power source, if you just took a small section of Spain, you could power all of Europe. 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., a little corner of Nevada or Utah, power the entire United States.”
–Elon Musk speaking at COP21

Utah and Nevada

Musk specifically pointed to Utah and Nevada — or, more specifically, small subsections of each state — as potential sources for a large amount of solar power generation in the United States. Both of those states rank very high in solar energy potential.

It’s especially interesting that he mentioned Nevada, as that state is currently in the midst of a battle between utility companies, solar companies, and residential solar customers about the future of net metering in the state, and now some question the future of solar power in the Nevada if those changes hold.

Source → Tech Insider
Photo Credit: Photo by Ballonboy101 / CC BY-SA 3.0