Solar is on Track to Out Produce All Other Energy Sources

Solar Set to Outstrip All Other Energy Sources

The discussions around climate change and its effect on life on earth have been going on for long enough to prompt governments, organizations, companies, and even individuals to take concrete actions to reverse the trend. In spite of the best efforts, fossil fuels that contribute to the greater portion of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to dominate the field of energy production by 67%. However, the vast amount of research being done in the domain of renewable energy sources is beginning to pay off with concrete results.

Among the various sources like nuclear, wind, water, and sun, solar seems to be the fastest growing, even though till date it accounts for only 1% of the total power generation. Technological improvements and a reduced cost of installation added to the extremely attractive energy independence factor have contributed to an unprecedented rise in the solar market. According to the Scientific American, it is estimated that in the year 2016, more solar capacity was added than any other energy source and at this rate, it is set to outpace the growth of energy production from the wind and even natural gas. The new solar power generating capacity amounted to 9.5 gigawatts which is three times as much as was in the year 2015.

The reduced price of solar cells

Even a few decades back, the solar energy production was so expensive that it was considered good only for satellites and space technology that are without an alternative option. Unfortunately, many continue to believe that solar cells are still so expensive as to be impractical for homes and small businesses. However, the reality is that, compared to the situation three decades back, solar cells now cost an astonishing 1% of what they did then! Moreover, the price is rapidly reducing so much so that some expect solar power to be the cheapest energy form by the beginning of the next decade.

A limitless source

The most attractive feature of solar power is its abundance that awaits technological improvements to tap its endless profusion. The earth receives solar energy amounting to about 173000 terawatts continuously, which exceeds ten thousand times the total energy used by the entire human population! Hence, it is no wonder that human ingenuity has turned to this limitless supply to meet its energy demands. With the increasing production of better and cheaper batteries, even the problem of cloudy days has been overcome.

The energy independence factor

Nevertheless, for small businesses and homes, the appeal of solar power lies also in the energy independence it accords. Even large utilities that have been resisting solar power are beginning to include solar and other renewable sources in the fuel portfolios to keep pace with the market and economic trends. Recently, even the National Grid chose to invest in solar, which is an indication of the trend of future energy investments.

When we add to this the fact that solar market has a huge potential for human labor, the future of solar energy is evidently secure even as the new government seeks to boost the labor market. Moreover, even without substantial government subsidies, solar has the power to compete with other energy resources since the research in the field of solar energy technologies has advanced to an unprecedented level.