The amount of energy that radiates over the Earth each day in the form of sunlight is equivalent to about 15,000 times the world's total energy consumption. If only a fraction of this solar energy could be converted into electricity, a large proportion of the world's energy problems would be solved. Solar energy is intermittent - electricity production is dependent on sunlight. When it is combined with energy storage and smart software solutions, solar energy becomes a reliable and ever cheaper source of energy.
Cost of solar energy equipment decreasing
In recent years the cost of solar energy equipment has decreased significantly. This means that photovoltaic (PV) solar cells have reached, or in the near future will reach, "grid parity" for customers in many European countries, and that small installations for private customers are already economically viable in these countries. Large-scale PV installations need to compete on the energy market with other electricity sources, and are often subsidized in Europe. However, in sunny regions of the world large-scale solar energy has become the cheapest source of energy, surpassing electricity made with fossil fuels or wind turbines.
As production prices are expected to continue to drop, solar energy is foreseen to make up a large – in some parts of the world even the largest - part of our future global energy supply.