Speed Reads

'stupid and pointless'

Solar panel experts hate Trump's proposal to put solar panels on his border wall

Solar panel experts say President Trump's idea to cover his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall in solar panels doesn't make much sense — practically or economically. While Trump has raised the possibility as an easy way to make it so the wall "creates energy and pays for itself," experts explained to BuzzFeed News that it's a whole lot more complicated than "just slapping a bunch of solar panels onto the wall."

For starters, Trump's proposed wall is massive. GTM Research's MJ Shiao explained that the sheer enormity of the project means the "harder and more expensive it is to make work." The wall would cross through "multiple states and jurisdictions," likely pitting it against an array of permit requirements, and it would also "likely need a lot of infrastructure, such as transmission lines, to connect the wall's solar power to market," BuzzFeed reported.

On top of all of that, there's "the reality that sitting solar panels atop a giant wall, or lining the sides of it, aren't necessarily the best way to maximize solar output," BuzzFeed said. University of Oxford geoscientist Raymond Pierrehumbert pointed out that if this were really such a genius way to conduct solar energy, then energy companies would have already mounted solar panels on walls.

At the end of the day, Pierrehumbert said, "putting solar panels on a stupid wall does not change the fact that the wall is a stupid and pointless waste of money."

Read more at BuzzFeed News.