Green New Deal Plan - Green Buildings and Housing for all

Solar electricity and storage

There are two main sources of solar energy: centralized plants, called Concentrated Solar Power, and distributed rooftop systems. Here we focus on distributed rooftop systems which can be put on top of buildings, but we will also consider some solar farms. Obviously these systems only work when the sun is out; each location has different seasonal sunlight, and systems work best if they can move to follow the sun. We will use rough average estimates here. Also, the price of photovoltaic (PV) systems continues to decline, but we will be conservative in our estimates. We will include storage batteries for buildings here, so people can store the solar energy for use at night; this would work very well with geothermal heat pumps/retrofitting, as the solar panels could power the heat pump at night via the batteries, so that buildings would use very little electricity, if any, from the national grid. This would not only free up the grid electricity to be used by industry and transportation, but it would also decrease the possibility of going without power in the case of a blackout. The Distributed Solar System, because it could interact with the Interstate Renewable Electricity System because of its battery storage, would really be an extension of the Interstate Renewable Electricity System, in the same way we can consider local road systems an extension of the Interstate Highway System.


According to NREL, the cost per watt for commercial solar systems is $1.83, and for residential, $2.70. If there was a huge purchase and installation of solar panels, it is safe to consider this commercial level, so let's say it is $2 per watt. The average household uses about 900 kWh of electricity per month, or 30 kWh per day. Assuming 5 hours per day of good sunshine, on average, the average household would need 6Kw each, or $12,000 worth. In addition, for a solid amount of storage, current batteries are about $300 to $400 per kWh, although there is a promising technology at $100, according to the N.Y. Times. So if we want an average of half a day of storage, or 15Kwh, that would cost, say, $6,000, and to be safe let's bring it up to a total of $20,000. Multiply times 100 million households, and we have $2 trillion total, or $100 billion per year for 20 years. This model can also work for apartment buildings, but in that case, we would want solar farms, even in the Southwest, because there wouldn't be enough surface on the roof. Solar farms are actually closer to $1 per watt, so this would be more efficient. We would still have storage batteries in apartment buildings.

The Federal government could charge 8 cents per kwh, as opposed to the average 12 cents today. this would pay for $100 billion each year to continually upgrade and service the building sector. So this system would be a big saver for most people. In addition, because of the geothermal/retrofitting, heating and cooling costs would go down, and this one third for heating and cooling of the solar building electricity generation could be used for the electric cars. The average distance driven by cars is about 36 miles per day, and an electric car can drive one mile on .25 kWhrs, so 36 miles would use about 8 kWh's, which would just about equal the electricity saved by the geothermal/retrofitting. The resident of a walkable neighborhood would not have this expense, since they would use transit, which would use the national grid.

So for the average person in a single family home, the Green New Deal would offer much cheaper electricity and energy for the car.


According to the Solar Energy Information Industries Association, in 2015 about 7 Gigawatts of solar capacity was added to the U.S. There were about 209,000 solar industries employees. Say we add 40 Gigawatts capacity per year, which would equal 800 gigawatts at the end of 20 years, which would yield about 1600 terrawatt hours, then we need about 1.2 million workers, with about one quarter for manufacturing, or about 300,000.