Energy Evolution: The future is solar

Energy Evolution: The future is solar

“The Earth is what we all have in common.” —Wendell Berry

Individuals today are more conscious of their carbon footprint than ever. In a report by Nelson Group, it was found that 66% of global respondents say they are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.1 Some of the world’s biggest and powerful corporations like Ikea, Facebook, Google, and Apple have adopted solar. Apple has achieved its target of going 100% on green power in 2017. The new corporate headquarters –Apple Park in California has one of the largest solar roofs in the world.2

Many compelling reasons motivate both big and small companies around the globe to switch to solar power. One of the reasons behind this industrial shift towards solar is that it provides a promising ROI. While the initial costs of installing a solar plant may seem large, it can arguably turn out to be highly profiting towards the business over the years. Inclusive of cost savings, the efficiency of power generation results in substantial ecological benefits as well. Statistically speaking, 1 kW of solar energy prevents 300 pounds of carbon from entering into the atmosphere.3

It is predicted that the rising energy demands across the world will soon outpace the production levels. For a country like India with exponentially growing population levels, solar energy is the most viable option to meet the energy requirements. The geographical location of India in the tropics is a huge advantage as it receives 3000 hours of sunshine. A typical solar system is fairly easy to set up. This will guarantee electricity for all while keeping a check on the pollution levels in the country.

China recently announced that it plans to invest 361 billion dollars into renewables by the year 2034.4 According to a report by Bloomberg, by the year 2040, a massive amount of $3 trillion will be invested in solar. By 2021, solar power will become cheaper than coal, in India. India has an open market for foreign investment. This, along with the decreasing solar power tariffs, encourages foreign investors to enter the Indian solar market. The government of India has undertaken several initiatives like providing subsidies and incentives to encourage the shift towards solar.

From 2008 to 2013, the cost of solar panels fell by 50%. Since 2009 the prices have fallen over 86%.5 This benchmark would have been unimaginable a few years back. Solar power is going to dominate the entire energy sector unrefuted. The only question is when, and the answer seems to be: definitely quicker than we thought.

1 US$ = Rs. 70.3 (Dec, 2018)




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