I want us to start building infinite solar panels (Day 23)

Raw material scarcity isn’t currently an economic issue. Neither is land nor food: we (the US) have an insane amount of underutilized food production capacity, and that’s not even considering converting from low-labor to high-labor intensity agriculture. And we certainly have *lots* of people who want good work.

And when it comes to infrastructure “problems”, too much electricity generation with no fuel and minimal maintenance costs sounds like the best kind to have. I have great faith in Americans they’ll find something productive to do with any “extra”.

We’re not gonna get rid of fossil fuels anytime soon: energy storage isn’t good enough yet, and replacing our entire energy infrastructure comes in at ~50-100 trillion dollars anyways.

But getting started seems like the sweetest investment ever: current photovoltaic technology is only recently hitting its predicted end of life date, the panels are maintaining output better than expected, and almost none of them are failing, nor showing signs they will.

So absent unexpected changes, these panels look to run far beyond their expected lives. And when it comes to solar, that’s almost all profit, as there’s no fuel costs. With payback periods of less than 10 years (with good siting) and expected lives over 30 (and very possible they run longer than that), not only are they good infrastructure investments now, but 30 years from now they’ll likely just be “free money”.

(Fragment. PSC/Utility issues, transmission/storage issues, government ownership issues, tying together investment/jobs/infrastructure/welfare issues)

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