- A massive switch from coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power plants to solar power plants could supply 69 percent of the U.S.’s electricity and 35 percent of its total energy by 2050.
- A vast area of photovoltaic cells would have to be erected in the Southwest. Excess daytime energy would be stored as compressed air in underground caverns to be tapped during nighttime hours.
- Large solar concentrator power plants would be built as well.
- A new direct-current power transmission backbone would deliver solar electricity across the country.
- But $420 billion in subsidies from 2011 to 2050 would be required to fund the infrastructure and make it cost-competitive.
I'm sure that America will do something big like this, since it is not really much more ambitious than the Interstate Highway system built after World War II, or the telecommunications infrastructure rolled out over the last 30 years.
Once a clear, "can-do" proposal like this is seen by the American people, it is the sort of thing that will galvanize them into action much more than Al Gore's millenarianian church with carbon-tax collection plates. It is the kind of vastly ambitious but practical and no-nonsense project that the people and government of the United States have proven in the past that they are capable and eager for.
We shall see who actually solves the world's energy and environmental problems--the prophets of doom or the engines of technology and innovation that represent the leading edge of human adaptation. Survival of the smartest. Ideological resentment and Gore's America-bashing will look mighty foolish the day they turn on that new solar-powered DC-Electrical Backbone and people "plug in" instead of "fill up" while the rest of the world's environmental Cassandras attend conferences and issue manifestos.