The Rise Of Solar Power


Solar power is on the rise. You can see the evidence on rooftops and in the desert, where utility-scale solar plants are popping up. The picture is not all rosy, but if the recent past is any indication, solar power is going to help lead the transition to a carbon-free future, and it might do it faster than we all expected.

Elon Musk and Tesla promised solar roof tiles in 2016, but the industry might not need an upgrade as its grown significantly with the solar panels currently available. You can see the evidence both on individual rooftops and in the utility-scale solar plants increasingly popping up in deserts across the country. In the United States, of all about 30% of the new power capacity added to the grid in 2018 was from solar.

But the picture is not all rosy. Solar power (and sunshine) is intermittent and the price of lithium ion batteries, one of the most popular current storage solutions, is still relatively high.

These are real problems that the industry needs to tackle if solar is going to reach its potential. However, if the recent past is any indication, solar power is going to help lead the transition to a carbon-free future, and it might do it faster than we all expected. Watch the video to learn more.

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The Rise Of Solar Power


39 replies
  1. Function Motors
    Function Motors says:

    It doesn't make any sense to install solar panels on residential roofs, I already did the math. It will take 40-50 years to get your money back and life of solar panels is around 25-30 years. Only way it will make sense is if utilities start paying you cash instead of energy credits. Essentially, installing solar panels on residential roofs will only burn holes in people's pocket. Just replace all the light bulbs in the house with LED/SMD bulbs. My electricity bill went from $40-45/month down to less than $30/month, and the bulbs are 2-3 times brighter than halogen or CFL bulbs. I guess the only case it will make sense is, you have two electric cars, you charge them at home, and you drive a lot.

  2. Tony Chen
    Tony Chen says:

    Solar power is nice but we should do an "everything in the toolbox" approach like the IPCC suggested. Incorporate nuclear power and carbon capture with renewable. Net-zero carbon is the goal and a combined approach gets us there the fastest.

  3. shara 995
    shara 995 says:

    When the sun, wind and hydro power is giving free energy supply, why are you digging the earth for crude? Fossil fuel should be inside the earth. But it is getting burned regularly. Say no to petrol and diesel vehicles.

  4. Brian Zack
    Brian Zack says:

    things with battery is they get wear up over time. imagine having to replace all those batteries on every power provider centre. imagine if it is installed in every home. how are we gonna dispose them appropriately? So we gonna need another plant/regulatory just to take care of the worn out batteries. not to say Li-Po can catch fire easily had something gone wrong.. so… yeah… the future of energy can be a difficult puzzle to solved

  5. aslesh
    aslesh says:

    In India banks are not ready to finance solar projects …
    because power produced from solar is itself cheaper then other sources that it does not make sustainable to fund these projects..

  6. ottawa
    ottawa says:

    We need some solar panel that is a lot cheaper than what is available currently to speed up the replacement of fossil energy source , e.g perovskite solar cell that has at least same efficiency as the silicone counter part but about 20-30% of the cost.

  7. Peter K
    Peter K says:

    That sound terrific but what about solar panel disposal? I understand panels have a finite life, are not easily recyclable and pose an environmental hazard if used in landfill.

  8. Omnipitous
    Omnipitous says:

    Gen 4 and 5 Nuclear is the way to go. Molton Salt Thorium failsafe reactors work day and night with extremely little waste. It can also burn current nuclear waste. If a Volcano blows up in Indonesia as it did in 1883, solar is screwed for years. Nuclear will power on. Chew on that for a while. Same thing if an asteroid hits like the one which nearly hit in August of 2019. Solar is screwed for years,. Nuclear will power on.


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