Tag Archives: power

Global Solar Energy Production

Can someone with better math/engineering skills check my numbers here?
If I’m reading these articles (linked below) correctly, it sounds like Germany is producing 400 watts per person via solar and consuming 861 watts per person. That would mean they are already 46% solar! (They are aiming for 80% renewable by 2050) NOW, if that’s the case and article #2 is to be believed, that would mean that if every other country in the world collectively averaged solar energy production at the same rate as Germany is today, we would be generating a SURPLUS of energy using solar alone.However, the US has 3.8 times the population of Germany, 27.5 the area, and about twice as much sunlight per year. If Germany can produce 32,824 MW in a year (400w/p), then doesn’t it follow that the US should be able to produce somewhere in the ballpark of 1,805,320 MW per year? That would be equivalent to 5,702 watts per person. 4 TIMES what the average American consumes.
I know these numbers are rough, and many factors such as average roof coverage aren’t considered, but if I’m even in the ballpark… then, well, it just makes that much more of a case for solar, doesn’t it? Panels are only going to get more and more efficient. If we had panels on every roof we’d have more free energy than we’d know what to do with…