Estimating Kardashev Money

First attempt to put some honest numbers on a fair rate of Kardashev Money Stimulus

Background

Readers need to be familiar with the concept of Kardashev Money.

The object of this story is to identify a reasonable estimate of Kardashev stimulus, that is money issued, based on Joules of solar energy put to use in the economy as product.

Currently Applicable Kardashev Stimulus

The total installed power rating of solar PV in the US, estimated by The Solar Energy Industries Association, is 113.5 GW.

From that installed capacity, for practical reasons including typical sun irradiance and panel efficiencies, only around 15% of the installed capacity is converted to Joules of energy product used, so the 113.5 GW of capacity only produces around 17 GW of actual power put to use.

The 2020 wholesale market electricity price given by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), is $22/MWh

A Mega-Watt-hour, is a fixed number of Joules consumed, given by a flow of energy, comprising one million Joules per second, for one hour, which can be calculated using the windows 10 calculator app as:

1e6*60*60 = 3.6e9, so 3.6 Giga-Joules.

17 Giga-Watts, is a continuous flow of energy at a rate of 17 Giga-Joules per second.

So, if each unit of 3.6 Giga-Joules is worth $22 dollars, then the flow of money representing a flow of 17 Giga-Joules per second can be calculated as:

17/3.6*22 = $103 per second.

Multiplying that by 60*60 gives us $374000 per hour.

Multiplying that by 24 gives us $8976000 per day.

Multiplying that by 28 (worst case) gives us $215424000 per month.

So, 215.434 Million dollars per month, is our estimate for the currently applicable Kardashev Stimulus.

That estimate, of how much money can be issued as stimulus without negatively affecting the dollar value in markets, applies only to the solar capacity currently installed.

Future Applicable Kardashev Stimulus

In time, in order to reduce pollution to zero, solar capacity has to go to 100% of all energy used. I’ve explained the technical basics of how that can be done, in terms of “Money-Fuel Tree Seeds”, with minimal stimulus / investment, in the Money-Fuel Tree story:

Of course we are interested to know what the final fully implemented solar Kardashev stimulus will be.

We make an estimate of that future Kardashev Stimulus as follows:

The total of all energy used in the US is given by the EIA as 92.94 “Quadrillion British Thermal Units”.

To obtain 92.94Btu in KWh, we multiply by 3412.1414798969, to give approximately 3.17e5, then multiplying by the Quadrillion multiple (1e15), gives us:

3.17e20 KWh, for the total yearly energy usage of the US.

Now to obtain that energy usage as a continuous rate (power), which can be compared with the rate of solar energy used, we have to divide by the number of hours in a year (5.27e5), which gives us an answer of approximately 6e14 KW of power usage, or 6e17 Watts (Joules per second).

Now to see the multiplier that applies to future stimulus, we divide the total power, by the currently used solar power;

6e17/17e9 = 35.3 million.

What this tells us, is that currently, only 0.35 parts per million, of energy consumed in the US, is generated by solar.

And yet we see that this tiny portion has a Kardashev Stimulus capability of 215.434 Million dollars per month.

So the final long term Kardashev Stimulus appears to be something like:

35e6*215e6 = 7.5e15 dollars per month

Dividing per head of population;

7.5e15/300e9 =$25000 dollars per month, per person

$25K per month per person, for every person in the US, would be a pretty cool target to aspire to, would it not?

Imagine the difference this goal will make, to the implementation of solar power in the US, and how that will place the US relative to the rest of the world, with for sure a very positive effect on the US dollar.

Of course similar calculations can be made for any and all countries in the world, and the first country to pursue it will have significant advantage to all others.

Will the US be first to make the leap?

Who knows, let’s see.

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This article was written with a few hours to spare, it does not stand as a formal research document, but could form the basis of one, for anyone interested to follow up. Meantime, if anyone sees any major errors in the calculations or assumptions, please do shout, I am more than happy to admit it normally takes me a lot longer than a few hours to achieve high confidence in my own calculations such as above, it is very possible I could have made some bloops. I will be revisiting this article often in the next few days / weeks, as it does look like something very significant, I / we need to make sure it is absolutely correct, but it is released for now “For peer review”, rather than delaying what could be very valuable information.

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Frederick Bott

Frederick Bott

Solarpunk

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