FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Source data
Type Paper
Cite as Citation reference for the source document. Joshua M. Pearce & Emily Prehoda,Could 79 People Solarize the U.S. Electric Grid? Societies 2019, 9(1), 26; free open access

Although wealth inequality has many established negatives, this study investigates a potential positive, unprecedented wealth concentration makes it possible for solutions to large and seemingly intractable problems to be deployed by convincing a relatively small number of individuals to invest. In order to probe this potential outcome of inequality, this study quantifies the number of people necessary to radically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global climate destabilization from the U.S. electric grid, which is one of the largest sources of emissions. Specifically, this study determined that 1544 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology must be deployed to eliminate the use of fossil fuels on the U.S. electric grid, if PV is conservatively deployed as a function of population density. The results showed that only 79 American multi-billionaires would need to invest in PV. This investment would still leave each investor with a billion dollars of liquid assets as well as substantial long-term profits from PV. The analysis also concluded that 79 people is a conservative upper estimate of those that would need to be convinced of the usefulness of moving to a solar U.S. grid and that this estimate is likely to decrease further in the future.

Keywords[edit | edit source]

Photovoltaic; Solar energy; income inequality; electrical grid; philanthropy; renewable energy; wealth distribution; wealth inequality; wealth gap; solarize

See also[edit | edit source]

Climate Crisis = Health Crisis (51063308312).jpg
keywords = carbon emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, global catastrophic risk, climate change, energy policy, human mortality, climate genocide

News[edit | edit source]

  1. New Study from Michigan Tech’s Open Sustainability Technology Lab Reveals How Many People It Would Take to Fund Greening the U.S. Electric Grid Business Wire 6683
    1. Yahoo Finance 8
    2. Benzinaga16.8k
    3. Digital Journal 42.7k
    4. Street Insider 48.5k
    5. The Daily Times 65.9k
    6. Bakersfield 102k
    7. TMC News 107k
    8. The Marietta Daily Journal 120k
    9. Waco Tribune Herald 126k
    10. Serendeputy 176k
    11. Finger Lakes Times 209k
    12. OAAA 259k
    13. Kuam News 276k
    14. SC Now 279k
    15. Non Pareil 294k
    16. Olean Times Herald 338k
    17. The Register Herald 387k
    18. Acrofan 402k
    19. The Daily American 431k
    20. The Scotts Bluff Star Herald 450k
    21. The Herald Standard 488k
    22. Citizen Tribune 493k
    23. Electric Energy Online 530k
    24. Watertown Public Opinion
    25. West Plains Daily Quill
    26. Tullahoma News
    27. Argus Press
    28. The Manchester Times
    29. Elk Valley Times
    30. The Troy Record
  2. Michigan Tech study: 79 billionaires could green the grid - Tech Century, Tech News
  3. Global Renewable News
  4. West Baton Rouge solar plant with 197,000 panels begins construction: Entergy Louisiana to purchase its power The Advocate 3490, Houma Today
  5. America’s richest could afford this important investment to help fight climate change, scientist says CNBC 332
  6. ABD’nin En Zenginleri İklim Değişikliğiyle Mücadelede Güneş Enerjisi Yatırımını Karşılayabilir Paratic (Turkey) 32.5k
FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Authors Joshua M. Pearce
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related subpages, pages link here
Impact 2,194 page views
Created March 26, 2019 by Joshua M. Pearce
Modified April 13, 2024 by Kathy Nativi
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.