BusinessClimate ChangeGreen EnergyNewsWhy Solar Energy Can't Power The Whole World
With the global energy crisis in the front of everyone's minds, it has never been more important to think about our energy future.
Now I know what you're thinking, "What do you mean Solar can't power the whole world?". Well it can't, not alone. Whenever people hear the words 'renewable energy', solar is often the first thing they think of. While it is a completely viable solution, it can't do it alone. In order to have a globally efficient renewable energy world, we need more, we need to combine the power of solar with wind power, hydro power, and others. Solar simply can't fulfill the worlds energy needs alone.
Don't mistake us for sceptics, solar power is great! It's just not the perfect fit for every region. There's no point installing rows and rows of solar panels if you don't get any sun. In regions that have constant darkness it's better off to install another type of renewable power system. The easy example, Great Britain - they have very limited sun for most of the year, there's no point installing solar there. However the entire island is basically a wind tunnel, perfect opportunity to power the entire island using wind power.
Transitioning the Power Grid
The next step is enabling the grid to take renewable energies. The current global energy infrastructure grid was set up to facilitate fossil fuels. Changes to the global grid will have to be made over the coming decade in order to facilitate the upgrade. The common argument against this is "They're still developing the technology. Why don't we just wait for better technology before we upgrade?", well yes the technology is still being developed, but so is everything else. You wouldn't go without a mobile phone just because you knew a better model would come out later, would you? Of course not. You use the technology available today, then upgrade your phone when the newer, more efficient model comes out. It's the same with energy, there's always going to be better technology, and that's why we upgrade when it's ready. But today, we need to transition to the technology we already have - which is quite capable of doing the job needed.
Energy by the Numbers
Fossil Fuel companies have long been running scare campaigns in attempts to keep their companies running. Sighting job losses, inflation, energy shortages, and economic poverty as reasons to keep their industry running, the reality is so much different. Here are some quick facts:
Fossil fuels like coal and gas are all finite resources
Renewable energies are cheaper for the end consumer
Compared to fossil fuels, renewable energy today generates 5 times as many jobs. From 1.7 million in 2004 to 10.3 million in 2017 and 11.5 million in 2019, the number of jobs in the renewable energy sector increased
Renewables are better for the environment
One wind turbine can power up to 1,500 homes per year
Renewables create more stable energy prices
Renewables will help combat climate change
Only 29% of the energy from coal is produced. However, the output of wind power is 1,164% of its initial value
More jobs for women are created by renewable energy. According to a recent study, women hold 32% of jobs in the renewable energy sector, compared to just 21% in the fossil fuel sector
Global adoption of wind, water, and solar energy could end the 8–10 million annual air pollution-related deaths
The market for renewable energy is expanding quickly. The estimated value of the global market in 2030 is $1.9 billion.
By 2050, renewable energy sources could supply all of the world's energy needs if the appropriate sociological, financial, and political decisions are made (and taken quickly!)
While we can't shut down all the fossil fuel plants overnight (which I'm sure a lot of people would like to do), we do need to start transitioning them out today. It's just basic common sense really.
The power is in your hands to make the switch. Install solar panels on your house. Switch to a renewable energy service provider. Work for a company that only uses renewable energy - or better yet, work for a renewable energy company. Install a wind turbine in your garden (yes, you can!). Drive an electric vehicle. Campaign to your local government bodies - the more noise you create, the more you will be heard.
Together we can enable the renewable energy revolution. Together we can make a difference!