The YouTube channel “Corridor Crew” has shared an awesome video demonstrating just how many solar panels it would take to power the world. The video starts off with the host showing us a future time, 2100, and what it would be like if the world successfully transitioned to sustainability and there were no more climate change impacts. Then, he switched it up on us and showed us the reverse. Revealing the greenscreen, he then pointed out that we are at that critical point in time where we choose which future we truly want and asked the question, just how many solar panels could power the world?
“How many solar panels could power the world? 23 billion solar panels. That is how many we will need.” (Naturally, the world will never be 100% solar powered. Other sources, like wind power and hydropower, have big roles to play. This is more of a fun thought exercise.)
Right after he said this, the cameras stopped rolling and the crew came out and said “good job,” and then he explained that this was a simple answer to a complicated question. Then he shared the journey of just how complicated answering this question truly was.
“Energy is really complicated and just simply talking how much energy we use and figuring out how many panels could supply that power is not only wrong, it’s meaningless.”
He explained that there are lots of misconceptions as to how energy works, and the video is his way of clearing that up and debunking the myths. One of the key problems he pointed out is that humanity is power hungry, and clean energy needs to match that appetite.
The idea that we are just fine and that global warming is a myth is often pushed by many on the far right — conservatives/Republicans. Those who don’t agree with the basic science tend to profit off of the burning of oil, methane gas, and coal.
In the video, the host explained that in a year, humanity uses around the same amount of energy that the sun blasts the earth with every single hour: 162,000,000,000,000,00 watt-hours. He got that number from 2017’s total world energy supply. That is a lot of energy. Naturally, this is impractical on several levels, but imagine being able to get the same amount of energy we use annually from the sun in just one hour.
The video is definitely a must-watch. You can watch it here.