Everyone knows that SpaceX founder, chief executive officer, chief technology officer, and Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk is always thinking of alternative and more efficient ways to improve current technologies. His position as SolarCity co-founder and chairman only proves which technology he is sure is the best renewable source of energy to be harnessed.
In fact, Tesla Motors even changed its name to Tesla, Inc. to emphasize its transition to clean energy, as well as launch the solar roof the company has been working on. Such efforts make Musk the perfect person to discuss the advantages of transitioning to solar energy, which he humorously does in an interview that website Futurism turned into a cartoon.
The one-and-a-half-minute cartoon was posted on YouTube on Feb. 10 and features key points of Musk's explanation, from doing the math to imagining the future of current energy sources.
Why Solar Energy?
Cartoon Musk begins by making calculations in relation to solar energy. That is, he points out that 1 square kilometer (0.39 square miles) is equal to 1,000,000 square meters and that there exists 1 kilowatt of solar energy for every square meter or a total of one gigawatt of solar energy for every 1 square kilometer.
With that computation out of the way, Musk goes on to say that only 150 to 200 square kilometers' (59 to 77 square miles') worth of solar panels could already power the entire United States. He even jokes that a corner of Utah can be used since there is really nothing much going on there.
He then goes on to explain why relying on hydrocarbons is not really effective way since it is a limited resource.
"I simply look at the future and say 'What is the thing that will actually work?'" Musk says, adding that investing in solar resource is the more effective way for the future.
Renewable vs Limited Resources
Musk also notes that oil and gas are simply temporary resources that would most likely run out by the end of this century. He believes that when that time comes, people will most likely look at gasoline-powered vehicles the same way we look at coal.
He also believes that, in the far future, gasoline-powered cars would belong in a museum.
He also emphasizes that the argument over hydrocarbons is not a matter of "if" it will run out but "when" because these are limited resources that will definitely run out.
Watch the full video below.