Here’s a totally awesome graph from the folks over at Solar Power Rocks (part of One Block Off the Grid):
From the Solar Power Rocks post:
Since Dave and I founded SPR 5 years ago, something that comes up in conversation often is how much misinformation there is regarding solar power and how much the U.S. government spends on it. To put things in perspective, we compared the cost of the Iraq war to investment in different energy sources several years ago.
Now, after being annoyed enough that the House of Representatives are so brazen as to not just write, but pass a “No More Solyndras” bill, it was high time to provide some more much needed perspective.
There’s more on the post linked above.
That graph above actually made me think of a post one of our readers contributed last year on how much solar we could have deployed for what we spent on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Interestingly, Solar Power Rocks also made a graph on that way back in 2007 — linked in the quote above, and also reposted here:
More from the 2007 post that came from:
These figures are in millions. The source for energy R&D expenditures is from the National Council for Science and the Environment. Take a look here.Though the war in Iraq now costs about $120B a year, two authors (one a Nobel prize winner) estimates thetotal cost of this war exceeds 2 Trillion Dollars.
“Accrued liabilities for U.S. federal employees’ and veterans’ benefits now total $4.5 trillion. Indeed, our debt for veterans’ health and disability payments has risen by $228 billion in the past year alone…The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the interest payments on the money borrowed to finance the Iraq war will total $264 billion to $308 billion.”
That $2,000,000,000,000? Well, that amount of money could’ve built solar thermal plants here that would have provided energy for 2/3rds of our nation’s energy demand.
My guess is that number is a bit higher today. Meanwhile, solar is a lot cheaper, especially in countries that have made it a priority to get a lot installed.
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on your favorite social network, go to: zacharyshahan.com