Unlike coal, oil, and natural gas, solar and wind power are inexhaustible energy sources. Since the sun provides more energy than we need, solar power is a significant energy source in the transition to green energy production. Currently, wind energy contributes more to electricity than solar energy.
What is required to solar power the world?
Different theories and studies envisage if it is possible to power our entire planet with solar energy. If possible, then what exactly we would need to do. Let us understand briefly what these theories have to say :
- If Solar energy becomes more efficient by 20%, we would only need to cover an area the size of Spain to provide the earth with renewable energy in 2030. This means that we need only 0.3% of the earth’s surface to meet the global energy demand, which is less than the current area occupied by fossil fuels.
- Another analysis puts the same theory differently. We would only need 50% of the world’s rooftops covered with solar panels to provide enough electricity to meet the world’s annual demand. Now, suppose we cover an area of the earth by 335 square kilometers with solar panels, even with moderate efficiency, which is easy to obtain today. In that case, this will provide more than 17.4 TW of energy. This is 2.5 times the solar farm area needed to power the world in 2030.
- 1.2% of the Sahara Desert is enough to meet all global energy needs through solar energy.
Solar Energy creates new opportunities.
As per one of the reports, solar and wind power will be making significant contributors to the energy business in most of the world. Wind and solar power have become the cheapest forms of electricity. Although solar energy still makes up a small share of the total energy supply, the residential and commercial sectors are gradually adopting renewable energy sources.
The report says that while the energy supply in a fully renewable energy system will come from sources, solar and wind power will drive the transition. The report predicts that a fully renewable energy system will support about 35 million local jobs, creating leading solar energy jobs.
Goodbye to Fossil Fuels by 2050, says a study.
According to a study conducted at the LUT University of Finland (LUT) and the Energy Watch Group (EWG), the current energy system is based on fossil fuels and nuclear energy. According to a new report, by 2050, solar and wind power could completely replace fossil fuels and become the world’s energy source. The plummeting cost of solar and wind energy has freed up a reserve of energy that can meet global demand in recent years. Much of the energy is already cheap compared to fossil fuels.
Solar Energy is a very cost-effective source.
International energy agencies say that lower costs and faster solar growth were seen in every year’s forecast. There will be a record addition of new solar capacity every year. The international energy agencies’ main scenario calls for a 43% increase in solar production by 2040 compared to expected in 2021, thanks to a detailed analysis showing solar is 20-50% cheaper than expected. The report uses BNEF data on the world’s leveled cost of solar energy to calculate low-cost solar production today by taking the average price in each country and comparing it to the cheapest fossil fuel.
To conclude, it is highly envisaged that by 2050, solar and wind energy will be able to power the world by completely displacing fossil fuels and producing clean and affordable energy to support new technologies such as electric vehicles and pure hydrogen.