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Reality of Solar Power & Future

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Our Sun is amazing when you think about it light from the Sun travels millions of miles across space through our atmosphere and to us providing warmth visual light and vital energy for plans on this earth imagine if we could utilize this energy from the Sun in a meaningful significant way this is what solar power aims to do we’ve been previously taken for a ride by burgers concepts like solar roadways but what is the truth about solar cannot really change the world in this video we’ll take a look at the current state of solar power it actually seems like a solar movement is beginning let’s get straight into it firstly let’s see what we’re working with what is the raw input energy from the Sun absorbed by the earth the total energy absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere land and sea is around 3.85 yaso joules per year that sounds like gibberish right so how much energy is that really well just one hour of this energy exposure is more energy than the entire world consumes in one year or to put it another way one years of this exposure from the Sun contains twice as much energy than we’ll ever be gained from all the Earth’s non-renewable resources like coal oil natural gas and mining uranium combined so that’s a lot of energy but obviously we can only use a fraction of it taking into account insulation cloud cover and land that’s usable by humans etc we can use about 0.4 to thirteen percent of this raw energy from the Sun alright so how fast is the solar evolution happening the growth of solar power adaptation has actually been happening pretty fast about forty percent per year since the year 2000 for some perspective we’re currently generating over 97 times more energy from solar than in 2004 although this sounds like a lot right now total solar energy is still just over one percent of global production but the rate of increase is encouraging in fact a 2014 study by the international energy agency projected that solar power could supply twenty-seven percent of global electricity generation by 2050 all right so I know what some of you are thinking that’s all a load of rubbish Solar is too expensive and only works when it’s sunny so it’s useless in half the world while this used to be true in the past couple of years some of the common arguments against solar are starting to fall so is it too expensive let’s take a look at the current state of cost adjusting for inflation the cost of a solar module per watt was ninety six dollars in the mid-nineteen seventies now thanks to technological advancements and economies of scale the cost is now 36 cents per what today on the same train of thought let’s take a look at some interesting breaking stories in relation to the falling cost of solar from around the world in the country of Chile their northern grid solar panels generated more electricity than was consumed locally causing the price of electricity to go down to 0 well this is great for consumers solar investors are losing money making a disaster for them the problem was caused by too many solar developers being in the same place with no means of transmitting excess electricity to another grid a similar thing happened in Germany and their energy prices when negative due to an overabundance of energy from solar in addition to traditional nuclear and coal power on a similar thread Apple’s new solar farms are generating more energy than the company can use so it’s starting to sell the excess energy under a new company called apple energy still on the topic of falling costs Bloomberg has issued a report stating that the prices of solar could soon rival traditional kool china is leading the way and solar cell production and could be looking at costs as low as eight cents per kilowatt hour according to the chairman of trying the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer and one last interesting fact in relation to solar panel costs since 2012 solar cells have been given a Moore’s Law equivalent called Swanson’s law it stays the solar soul costs will have every 10 years as global shipments increase alright this all sounds great but the party for solar is over as soon as the clouds come out well this may not be entirely true according to this guy anyway well on this question of our energy bills which is the huge put a huge political topic here now have we got it wrong in terms of where we are sourcing their energy and mark my words solar will be the single largest producer of energy in the UK long term and you may say well isn’t it rather may be cloudy around here I was going to say i have been a sight yes and even though it’s cloudy you still get probably eighty to ninety percent of the energy coming through the clouds it’s just that you don’t have that bright point source of the cover of a son and a way to appreciate this perhaps is to look at the fact that plants are essentially a solar-powered chemical reaction and UK is a very green country but that’s not all this year scientists have made solar panels that produce angie from by sunlight and rain a step in the direction of all year round solar energy generation while we’re on the topic of breakthroughs let’s move on a little bit and take a look at some new solar breakthroughs from this year line firstly have MIT building 3d solar cells to offer a more stable output for different angles of the Sun they achieved anywhere from two to 20 times the power output of a standard flat sell this particular 3d setup works so well because its design was optimized by a computer algorithm mit has also created solar cells as thin as a soap bubble this next breakthrough is probably my favorite because it involves a start-up just finding a better way to do things better skype has a perception coefficient that is much higher than silicon cell it can absorb all the income sunlight in a layer that is thinner than a human hair the cells are super light flexible don’t crack like the traditional ones and can work in artificial light as they can be easily manufactured from readily accessible materials production is surprisingly cheap the printing method chosen by organizing activities is stable and reproducible this offers the possibility of scaling the manufacturing process the foil will prolong the life of batteries used in popular electronic devices and mobile tablet or laptop will charge even when exposed to artificial sources of light traditional solar cells will be replaced with technologically advanced foils tightly attached to the roof they may come in a wide range of colors to match the building’s design providing the house all with electric power these guys are still getting venture capital but it could really push the state of the art of solar forward if they succeed taking a quick look at solar transport there’s an autonomous boat called scout that will be the first solar vehicle to cross the Atlantic and there’s also an experimental aircraft called solar impulse that is currently flying around the world only using solar power and lastly tighter released an updated version of the prius with a solar panel roof that actually helps power the car this time ok so this is all great but we can’t in the video without talking about some of the downsides what are the drawbacks of solar the main problems for solar power are as follows naturally on any particular day energy demand fluctuates one of the problems of solar is that it’s not easy to adjust the output to match these fluctuations for example peak demand happens at night in a household and this is the opposite time to win this peak energy input from the Sun battery systems like tesla powerwall that store the energy and release at a later time can help and in fact what few people notice is that batteries like this and now much safer better for the environment and cheaper thanks to the rise of electric vehicles despite this more time is still needed to production is large enough to make this kind of energy storage technology ubiquitous the second problem was so long is that the best panels are currently about thirty to thirty-five percent efficient even though traditional coal is less than fifty percent efficient there is still a way to go in Seoul efficiency but this should surely improve as the technology comes along in coming years and lastly a problem with soleil is that older electrical grids like those in the United States and other countries would require a great deal of capital investment in infrastructure upgrades to make them compatible with large-scale solar energy ok so what’s the conclusion that we can make here while there are some kinks still left and solar and it’s not perfect there’s plenty of smart people working on the problem and with a global growth rate of about forty percent year-on-year progress is being made in addition to this governments have a renewed sense of urgency for sola Jamie wants to be thirty-five percent solar powered by 2020 China wants to be twenty percent by 2030 and the City of Sydney in Australia wants to be a hundred percent solar powered by 2030 and this isn’t to mention devise plans to build the biggest and cheapest solar tower in the world the point of this video isn’t so much a matter of every breakthrough that you’ve seen here today reaching full scale production but the thing you should take away and what I’m trying to show you in this video is that these breakthrough events are happening in a lot of places with increasing frequency to this only means that the forces of Industry progress in solar cells are likely to be strong going forward and this is exciting and just to finish off I think there’s something intrinsically charming about solar that idea of gaining usable energy from the Sun for free anyway thanks for watching guys I hope you learned a thing or two feel free to give this video a thumbs up if you liked it and subscribe if you need to the channel this has been to go go you’ve been watching cold fusion cheers guys and i’ll catch you again soon for the next video have a good one cold fusion if we thinking

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