What If All Houses Were Covered With Solar Panels?

rise and shine get up and seize the day you can do anything under the Sun when the Sun powers everything your phone your home and all that's in between this is life on the golden grid but is it the Utopia we thought it would be this is what if and here's what would happen if all houses were covered with solar panels in 2018 the state of California passed a law requiring all new houses to be built with solar panels after 2020 now you might think this sounds both extreme and unfair considering it will raise home prices by as much as 12,000 dollars but it's a lot more sensible than you think for one families will actually be making money off their new homes by saving roughly 19 thousand dollars over 30 years and in the meantime California will be generating 74% of its electricity from the Sun sadly not every place in the world is like sunny California if we tried to follow their example would we be setting ourselves up to fail actually on the world stage California's Solar Initiative is hardly oppressive in Australia for example roughly 15% of homes are already equipped with solar panels and in Belgium it's about 7% of homes but in the u.s.

Only 0.5% of homes currently have solar panels on them of course it could be a lot more like a lot more there are just over 8 billion square meters of suitable roof space in the US that with solar panels could produce 1400 terawatt-hours of electricity each year that's 40 percent of the current energy production in the US of course we'd have to work out a few things first it's one thing to require all homes to have solar panels but to ensure everyone gets reliable power when they need it is not so easy for example some countries don't get as much Sun as others do or they simply have fewer people or they have lower energy needs making it unfeasible for them to rely only on solar power think of it this way we said earlier that if every home in California was equipped with solar panels the state could generate about three-quarters of its energy from solar power but following the same initiative a state like Wyoming for example would only be able to get about fourteen percent of its energy from solar power so the success of this kind of program really depends on managing people's expectations based on the energy needs of a given region the amount of sunlight that a region receives and the population density within its borders places that are unable to go full on solar would be encouraged to rely on other renewables suitable for their climates the jump in global demand for solar panels would create millions of new jobs and businesses to build all these new solar panels we'd have to up our silicon and silver extraction which would be great news for China since they're the world's leading silicon producer and the world's second biggest silver producer we would need engineers to come up with effective ways to prevent power surges also known as solar spills they occur when too much energy is generated during off-peak hours like during the day when sunlight is greatest and demand is lowest this overwhelms the grid and can trigger blackouts or frequency issues the challenge for our engineers then is to come up with ways to divert and store the excess energy that's produced and then recall it when it's needed solar batteries are a possible solution although it's a very expensive one but with any luck the high demand would reduce the costs associated with going solar in any event after installation people would break even on their solar technology within five to ten years would then save significantly on future utility bills while also saving the future itself so if this is what you see today what might you see tomorrow make hay while the Sun shines show a friend the future that we could have and for more bright ideas keep watching what if [Music]

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