I know what you're thinking: a third of the world's energy needs? It sounds crazy...
But maybe it's not so unreasonable...
Take a quick moment to think about it:
1. Doesn't our planet receive sunlight each day?
2. Which countries use electricity each day?
3. Where can solar panels be installed?
The reality is solar panels can be installed virtually anywhere and have the potential to produce power in nearly every environment. Future efforts, however, will most likely focus on installing solar in key areas around the world which receive the most sunlight and are best suited for solar energy. The section of the globe around the equator is a prime example.
Additionally, solar is so versatile and can power incredibly small applications -- such as a house -- or increasingly large ventures -- such as a power plant -- providing the potential for producing energy for billions of people worldwide.
Despite the attempts of many prominent individuals -- like Bill Gates who said solar power was "cute," and Donald Trump who said his solar project had a 30 year payback and the panels are "going to be disintegrated in 15 years" -- solar power is a viable energy solution for our planet and has the potential to alleviate many of the concerns of global energy demand over the next few decades.
Whether or not another new technology can come around to provide a better solution, we do not yet know. One thing we can be sure of is solar power is here today and is a proven technology with an impressive track record. Future efforts should be placed on lowering the cost of production while increasing efficiency in order to make solar technology more viable for more economies around the world.
What are your thoughts on solar energy for our globe? Viable or waste of time and money? Sound off in the comment section below.
The information in this blog post was adapted from this Bloomberg Businessweek article.