Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why is solar energy yet to fulfill its enormous potential?

 Solar energy has tremendous potential and only a small fraction of totally available energy coming from Sun would be more than enough to satisfy the entire world's energy demand.

Many energy experts agree that there is only a matter of time before solar energy becomes top energy source.However,  there is still one huge stumbling block that solar energy industry will have to overcome– high costs of photovoltaics. 

Photovoltaics are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. Not only will photovoltaics have to become cheaper but they'll also have to become lot more efficient because current average efficiency of 15-18 is far from being enough to challenge much bigger efficiency of fossil fuels.

The efficiency of photovoltaics is primarily limited by the amount of sunlight that is absorbed, and science is looking at different techniques to enhance absorption of these devices and ensure minimal energy losses.
The scientists also hope that future solar cells will utilize more of the available solar spectrum for power generation as another major step towards increased efficiency.

Together with reduced costs and improved efficiency of solar power technologies, solar energy industry still has one major task- to decrease the influence of fossil fuel lobbies.

Fossil fuel lobbies, most notably oil lobbies, are still extremely powerful, and they often use their enormous political influence to get major political decisions going their way.

Solar energy still isn’t a widespread energy source, and despite the fact that global solar energy capacity is constantly increasing it still counts for very little on global level, namely satisfying less than one percent of total worldwide electricity demand.

There is no doubt that solar energy still has many obstacles on the road to becoming dominant energy source. But given its almost unlimited energy potential it’s really only a matter of time before solar energy will rule the world.