More solar energy hits the
earth every day than all of humanity consumes, however, solar energy is just coming
to the point where it economically is a real competitor for conventional electricity
The challenge for the solar
industry is to produce panels at a price competitive to fossil fuels and
utilize the highest conversion efficiency rates of the best solar cells,
currently just above 40%.
Solar powered Plug in
Creating a renewable
electric grid based on solar opens up the opportunity to combine the
on-board electric storage capability with the massive day time electric
generation capability of solar.
The chart below is a
comparison of the distances a car can drive based on the following
of energy, each produced on 100m x 100m of land which is 2.5 acres:
Steps to Solar
A great model to look at is
in mother nature where photosynthesis is very efficient converting
sun light into energy. Creating an artificial photosynthesis machine is
the holy grail, until we invent such a device, then we will have to
incrementally work on the problem.
Solar Hot Water
Some solar adoption steps
are easier than others and one area of energy displacement where solar
makes sense right away is in hot water. Some parts of the world like
Spain have mandated that all homes over a certain square foot size must
use solar power for hot water. This makes an immediate impact as solar hot
water displaces electric or gas heat usage with a totally renewable heat
Solar hot water is very cost
effective at approximately $100 installed cost per person per household.
For a 4 person household, $400 gets you a totally renewable hot water
system. Swimming pools an Jacuzzi's offer an even better solar
opportunity, instead of wasting all that energy on heating a pool or
Jacuzzi, solar offers a renewable heat source to keep your pool at just
the right temperature.