Solar Power Finally Gets Its Time In the Sun

Solar power is on the rise and threatening to unseat coal and nuclear power as the primary source of our energy. While the technology to harvest energy from our nearest star is nothing new, advances in efficient collection and storage have positioned solar power to take its place as a major power supplier over the next 30 years.

Advocates of solar power recently called on officials to lift the caps on solar energy production, which has created a major deterrent for companies considering investing in the switch to solar, or even producing compatible equipment.  While opposition has been expressed, perhaps most obviously from existing utility providers, Massachusetts administrators are taking a measured approach to address the solar issue in a balanced manner with a focus on long-term planning.

This type of resistance in the US may explain why it’s trailing behind Germany, China, Italy, and Japan in solar power installations, however, the US is expected to increase its solar installations significantly over the next few years. It will be interesting to see if the anticipated growth in the US  is met in light of the strong opposition from utility companies trying to protect their bottom line.

Experts now suggest solar power could provide up to 10 percent of our global energy within the next decade. Already accounting for 1 percent of global energy production, solar is quickly gaining popularity as costs decline and access to photovoltaic equipment and infrastructure increases.

Capacity for solar production is expected to multiply rapidly and is predicted to offer up to 3k gigawatts of clean, renewable, usable energy. According to a new study by UBS, the convergence of increased energy demands, more efficient power storage, and affordable solar solutions have set the stage for solar power to become a viable energy source for home use. While utility companies will still be an important player in managing power storage and use as the transition progresses.

The UBS study suggests dramatic decreases in battery cost, up to 50 percent by 2020. Combined with the increased popularity of battery-powered cars and homes, the picture this analysis paints is clear: solar power has finally found its time to shine.