So far in our modern civilization, the popularity of alternative energy is becoming increasingly widespread. Perhaps it has been fueled by the recent realization and scientific research into global environmental impact of the current forms of energy which is dominated by non-renewable sources. These sources are not only running out as we continue to consume them, but also releasing harmful gasses into the atmosphere as they are burned to generate usable energy. This double negative that surrounds non-renewable energy sources has led researchers to find other sources of energy that are clean and renewable.
One of the most popular sources that has emerged is solar energy. Being a form of energy derived from the sun, it is a preferred source. By using PV cells to harness solar heat and radiation and converting it to a usable electric current, it has no harmful release of gases. When looking at solar energy in the present, the use has become much more wide spread. In 2008, 7.9 GW of energy from the sun were added worldwide. Coupled with tax deduction incentives for consumers to implement solar panels on their homes or offices, it is expected that there will be more solar panels.
The future of solar energy much depends on current efforts to make this technology more affordable. The current pricing and initial costs for solar panels set up is quite high, higher than the average threshold of a potential consumer. If solar energy were to become more affordable for the average consumer, it will attract more to join in on the solar energy grid. According to the MIT Energy Initiative study, the future of solar energy much depends on policies also. Through changing policies, governments will enable solar energy to be a compelling energy option. Also, research and development funded by governments pave way for solar energy to become better and more affordable.
In terms of employing solar energy as a predominant form of alternative energy, the study finds that governments should fund research into implementing a national solar power grid. This will be done in preparation of deploying a large scale solar power generation. This will secure a way for a strong centralized grid, drawing from individual home’s solar power generation. It works by having owners of solar panels contribute their left over unused units to a national grid. Through this, more will be able to benefit from the grid.
All in all, there are many promising signs that the future of solar energy is looking bright. The current rise and attention to bettering technology surrounding solar panels to make it more affordable coupled with the involvement of governmental bodies to further push for a unified grid make for a promising future for solar energy. Given that current attention and research funneled into alternative energy is moving along fast, it is very much a reality that by 2050, when the non-renewable sources we currently use are said to run out, we will have a fully functional alternative energy grid for most countries. This is an insight.