Trump's bright idea: a solar wall at the US-Mexico border

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 24, 2017

President Donald Trump's freakish vision of a "solar wall" to keep illegal refugees on the other side of the Mexican border and help pay for the construction of the 3,200km barrier, has lit a fire under stocks in the USA, despite widespread scepticism it might ever happen.

Now, Trump is saying that adding solar panels to the massive construction would help to pay for it while providing cheap electricity to USA residents.

"And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money", he said.

Taking credit for the concept, Mr Trump told supporters: 'Pretty good imagination, right?

During the rally, he suggested that the idea to install solar panels on the hypothetical wall was originally his, though the green amenity had been included in several companies' bids to plan and construct the wall.

Mexican officials have derided Trump's claim that Mexico will pay for the wall's construction. Trump insists that even if US taxpayers have to cover the costs upfront, Mexico will eventually be forced to reimburse the U.S.in some way.

He said his wall would cost around US$6 million per mile to build, would generate two megawatts of electricity per hour and "will pay for itself in 20 years", according to an interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Trump is believed to be citing a report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies; he previously retweeted a link to a CNN story on the report published in May. And that does not include rates for conflict-torn countries like Afghanistan and, Syria and others, for which the UNODC had no figures.

The Solar Energy Industries Association cautiously welcomed the announcement, at least for its nod to an industry Trump has shown little support for.

Under pressure from Democrats, the US Congress has so far refused to commit funding to the project, agreeing only to finance maintenance on existing parts of the border fence, AFP reported. "Good? My idea", boasts Donald Trump.

The Mexicans have repeatedly said that they have no intention of financing the scheme.

This image provided by Gleason Partners LLC shows a rendering of precast border wall that incorporates solar panels into the design and that is 24-feet tall.

During his campaign, Donald Trump pledged to build a wall on thesouthern border of the United States to deter illegal immigrants, promising to take the money to build it from Mexico.

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