In 2010, the total amount of installed solar capacity in the United States was 956 Megawatts. That sounds like a lot. But by my estimates, a typical US household requires a flow of 1.24 kilowatts. (The EIA reports average household energy use per year to be 10,896 kilowatt-hours (that’s a stock measure that we need to convert back to a flow). Since there are 8,766 hours per year, a typical household requires a flow of electricity equal to 1.24 kilowatts to power their appliances and phones and other goodies.
Some people think that in 20 years’ time, we could have 100% of our power generated by renewable energy. Well, right now we could. It would just cost us over a quadrillion dollars to do it. But hey, we can borrow that money, it’s stimulating right? All that debt worry is just nonsense.