MIT has released a new report titled The Future of Solar Energy, which states that solar energy technology is currently advanced enough to provide all of the world's energy in the future. Researchers believe we should now focus on obtaining the money needed to expand the use of this technology, and that convincing governments to adopt solar-friendly policies is essential to the goal of future reliance on clean energy.
As Treehugger explains,"current solar resources dwarf current and projected future electricity demand." The modern photovoltaic technology used in most solar panels is able to generate sufficient energy, so the next step in transitioning to wider use of solar power is to develop more efficient ways of sharing this power between consumers.
Researchers hope to create a "smart grid" that could easily transfer solar power produced in various locations to other users on the grid. Improving electricity storage systems will also make solar panels even more cost-effective, as these storage systems would allow consumers to make use of solar energy even when the sun isn't out or during peak usage times.
The "biggest hurdle" facing solar energy is therefore not the technology itself, but the need for funding and government subsidies. Solar Love refers to the difficulty of switching to new technology when "entrenched interests" are in the picture. At the moment, the government heavily subsidizes fossil fuels.
MIT suggests transferring these government funds to solar energy endeavors. This change in policy would allow us to take advantage of the great innovations already made in solar technology and rely less on non-renewable sources that threaten the environment.
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