Solar energy is abundant and renewable and there is evidence It can power the world. More and more countries are switching from burning fossil fuels to utilizing green energy – solar, geothermal, tides, and even wind. However, we are a long way from benefitting from the full potential of solar energy. The truth is that just 1% of our energy needs are satisfied by solar power at the time of writing. This small percentage prompted many to disregard solar power as an efficient energy source. However, what people don’t realize is that solar power technology has the ability to grow exponentially.
Solar Energy: Not Just a Myth
To meet 100% of the world’s solar energy needs, Ray Kurzweil believes that solar power growth needs just 8 doublings – or roughly 16 years. And the best thing about solar energy is that the supply of sunlight will not be an issue for the foreseeable future. If we can manage to efficiently use just one 10,000th part of the sunlight that falls on Earth, we can satisfy the world’s solar energy needs completely. And there are many more benefits to using solar energy as the main source of energy.
Moore’s law states that computer processing speed doubles every 18 months. Ray Kurzweil, an eminent inventor, states that this law can be extended to the nanotechnologies used by scientists to increase our ability to harvest solar energy. In other words, nanotechnology is advancing faster than we think and new breakthroughs are being made yearly in the solar power industry.
According to Ray Kurzweil in an interview with Big Think, “Solar panels are coming down dramatically in cost per watt. And as a result of that, the total amount of solar energy is growing, not linearly, but exponentially. It’s doubling every 2 years and has been for 20 years. And again, it’s a very smooth curve. There’s all these arguments, subsidies and political battles and companies going bankrupt, they’re raising billions of dollars, but behind all that chaos is this very smooth progression.”
Why Is Solar Energy So Important?
If we use solar energy effectively, there will be no need to burn fossil fuels or coal to generate energy, so there will be no need to pollute our planet further with these antiquated methods of producing energy. Solar energy is green energy that is safe to harvest and use, and does not cause pollution. There will be no need to maintain costly nuclear power plants and risk a disaster by creating energy using nuclear material.
Solar energy has the potential to influence geopolitics as well. Now, countries that are rich in resources have an advantage over poorer nations. In the future, everyone will have access to cheap solar energy, so the struggle for resources will end. Countries will stop fighting each other over oil and gas resources, as there will be little need for these resources in a future where solar power reigns supreme.
Solar energy is also the answer to our water and food problems. There is plenty of water on Earth; the problem is that it is either salty or dirty. Technologies to clean and desalinate water exist, but they are very costly. With an endless source of inexpensive, clean solar energy at our disposal, we could make clean water faster and cheaper. Moreover, we can create hot water systems that will produce as much heated water as necessary without relying on burning coal and fossil fuels.
The growing demand for food can be satisfied by hydroponic farms that grow fruits and vegetables all year round using inexpensive solar power. Moreover, let’s not forget that there is also the possibility of recycling the materials and nutrients needed to grow food and clean water, so that there is little to no environmental impact.
As long as the world has access to an inexhaustible source of cheap solar energy, growing food and producing clean water should not be an issue anymore. In fact, with enough energy at our disposal, we could even start cloning tissue to produce meat without the need for those huge farms that pollute our planet day after day. If we manage to harness the full power of solar energy, the possibilities are truly unlimited.
Earth’s resources are slowly but inexorably diminishing. We are already facing shortages in many areas, including oil, gas, water, food, etc. If we manage to use solar power to our advantage and learn how to harvest it efficiently, we will have an endless supply of inexpensive power at our disposal. We can use it to replace all other sources of energy on Earth.
Every nation will have the ability to afford cheap power and will be able to utilize it to satisfy most production needs, as well as its population’s needs. Solar energy is the energy of the future, and the solar energy industry is growing exponentially. We can power the world with solar energy in just 16 years. And for this to happen, we need to harvest just one 10,000th of the sunlight that reaches Earth every day.
By the year 2030, according to an article on newsweek.com it is expected that solar will have the ability to produce electricity at much less than the price of coal – as a matter of fact, it might offer 50 percent savings, and it will lessen the price of any carbon sources.
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