Solar panels to power the world by 2050

Posted on 4th Jun 2015 by Michael Cain

Over the last few years more and more people have been turning to solar power. Businesses who once thought the move to low carbon forms of energy would be expensive or troublesome have now begun to embrace the positive impact that solar power can have on their business, finances and the environment. While once perhaps thought of as unreliable, especially in our cooler climate, the MIT Energy Initiative has actually found that solar panels alone could power the world.

In their latest study, the MIT Energy Initiative describe how solar power could provide the world with several terawatts of clean solar power as early as 2050. However, while we have the right tools to provide this eco-friendly and potentially cheaper form of energy, we don’t yet have the backing of the government. To make this real possibility a reality, we’d need the backing of financial incentives and political muscle – and both of these are key to building an environmentally friendly world.

In their report, the MIT Energy Initiative say that subsidies given to the fossil fuel industries (which amount to almost $548 billion each year) must be diverted to clean energy to make our green future a reality. Only then can this low-carbon alternative grow on a very large scale.

The solution? Building a “smart grid” that integrates all of the solar energy available from various systems and projects into one efficient whole. Another cost-saving idea put forward by the authors of the paper is electricity storage, which is predicted to lower costs dramatically.

It’s these ideas that the authors suggest we work on, lowering the costs of the eco-friendly solution to make it more viable. The resources are already there, so it’s just about moving things forward, so that by 2050 the world will be ready for solar.

To read the report for yourself, visit the MIT website and download The Future of Solar Energy

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