What if BP had spilled Solar Panels instead of Oil? [InfoGraphic]
The BP oil spill is the largest accidental marine spill in the history of drilling for oil, and although the remaining slick poses ‘little additional risk,’ it will take years to fully evaluate the damage.
We decided to look at this disaster from a completely different angle: What if the hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf had been solar panels instead of crude oil? Exactly how much power could you create on the surface area of the oil spill?
Granted, it might not be possible to blanket a contiguous area the size of Kansas with silicon (or not? See A Solar Grand Plan).
So we also tried this: what if we compared the total (estimated) cost of BP’s cleanup efforts with the same amount of money invested in solar energy? How many solar panels could we buy and how much energy could we produce over the next 30 years?
Seems like money better spent elsewhere.
The figures above come from some intense number-crunching sessions in our office. Feel free to agree, argue, contradict, or correct anything you see here — and we can provide more numbers as needed. Visit the rest of our website for group discounts on home solar.
By Dave Llorens