# That's a Big Twinkie

How Big a Battery Would It Take to Power All of the U.S.?

Generating capacity is, however, only one side of the story. Storage systems are rated not only by their power, or how fast they can crank out energy (measured in gigawatts), but also by the total amount of energy they store (measured in gigawatt-hours). A facility with an energy capacity of one-gigawatt that can only supply electricity for 10 minutes would not be very helpful; in an ideal world it could do so for, say, 100 hours, thus storing 100 gigawatt-hours. Building up new pumped hydro-facilities similar to existing ones would probably help in all but the most disastrously long of wind lulls. For those worst-case scenarios, we might still have to brace for rolling blackouts.

Of course, this simple calculation also assumes current consumption levels. How would we power all those electric cars that we’re supposed to be driving in the future?

## One thought on “That's a Big Twinkie”

1. How would we power all those electric cars that we’re supposed to be driving in the future?” Gasoline-powered generators in all homes plus a fuel storage tank – by law. Privileged minorities, the poor, the elderly, and public servants receive equipment and fuel for free. Working folk and other abusive consumers pay a mandatory voluntary contribution to finance the program above their own costs, plus 15% for administrative costs. Hardware to be manufactured in China.

Chemical & Engineering News 90(8) 5 (2011): The US Navy contracted for 450,000 gallons of algae-derived biodiesel for $12 million – that being$26.67/gallon or 5X the civilian rate for diesel at the pump. Biodiesel from fats and vegetable oils costs about \$1.10/gallon to produce. (Also a lie. Agriculture cannot provided fuel as anything but a subsidized byproduct.)

Biodiesel: Corn affords 18 gal/acre, iodine number = 125 (big=bad). Oil palm affords 635 gal/acre, iodine number = 37-54. Raze the whole of Louisiana, filling in the swamps and lakes. Plant oil palm.

51,843 mi^2 total less 15% for roads, infrastructure, and the Mississippi (irrigation!) is 28 million acres or 1.8×10^10 gal or 346 million bbl/year biodiesel. US annual diesel consumption is 4.3×10^10 gallons. If we eminent domain Louisiana, we add 42% to US diesel supplies – with zero carbon footprint, earning serious folding green as Carbon Credits. It’s a no-brainer. One presumes Canada is eager to repatriate its sons and daughters.

http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/atftables/attf_c1.xls

Second stage is Operation Netherlands wherein huge peripheral dikes reclaim the Gulf of Mexico for American agriculture. By 2100 Louisiana could be supplying the whole of US diesel needs from free sunshine. Louisel would be too cheap to meter.