The entire world population could be supplied using a small amount of solar energy, according to Elon Musk. The statement was given by him in a tweet on October 16, in response to a user who shared a story about the reduced costs of this type of energy.
“This free-fusion reactor in the sky conveniently converts ~ 4 million tons of mass into energy every second. We just need to take an extremely small amount of it to feed the entire civilization, ”wrote the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.
A longtime fan of the energy from the Sun, Musk had previously made similar statements on other occasions. In one, he suggested that a single giant solar plant would be enough to supply energy to the entire North American territory.
One of the ideas given by the executive is to transform an area of approximately 26 thousand square kilometers, located “in a corner of the Arizona, Texas or Utah desert”, into a large solar power plant. According to him, this facility would be capable of generating 1 gigawatt per square kilometer.
Is Musk right?
Musk’s claim that solar energy would be enough to power the entire civilization has sparked much discussion on Twitter. But according to the website Popular Mechanics, the entrepreneur is right, at least in the technical sense, since the Sun is “a natural fusion reactor that produces an unfathomable amount of energy”.
According to the publication, the central star of the Solar System has an average power of 385 yottawatts – 3.85 watts times 10, raised to the 26th power. Of this total energy, approximately two thirds reach the Earth, while the other part is filtered by the atmosphere.
If all that part of the solar energy that reaches the planet were converted into electricity, in a hypothetical plant in the American desert, it would be able to produce up to 300 times the total energy generated by all the plants in the world.