Ask ARSE: "Just How Viable is Solar Energy for the Planet?"

Ask ARSE: "Just How Viable is Solar Energy for the Planet?"

We've received a fantastic question from one of our followers so let's go ahead and: Ask ARSE.

"Just how viable is solar energy for the planet?"
Jaime, 19.

The sun

Thank you for the extensive and in-depth question there Jaime.

Firstly, there are a few things to consider, such as the amount of the planet's surface where it is near improbable to place solar panels and the like. Such as the mass amount of water that covers Earth.

Solar panels over water

Secondly, the infrastructure of the country that is processing solar energy needs to be of a relatively modern standard, to begin with. 

Many countries still use an antiquated system to produce energy and for them, the ability to convert to a solar system is viable and possibly more achievable but would need a lot of external support to do so. 

Unfortunately, the way the world works is that no one company or organisation would want to do this out of charity unless they had a large monetary stake in the ongoing production of said energy.

But down to the meat and potatoes of the question...

 More sun hits the earth in one hour than the Earth uses in one year.

More energy hits Earth in one hour than the planet uses in an entire year.

Crazy right?

To build on this, solar energy use has increased steadily at a rate of 20% each year for the past decade or so and the trend appears to be steady. 

In 2017, the world added 30% more solar energy capacity which equates to 98.9 gigawatts of energy. 

This is all well and good, but in the grand scheme of things, this number only balances to around 0.7% of the world's electricity use per annum. 

We refer you back to our initial points on the amount of energy that is hitting unusable (for now) planets surface and the infrastructure needed in developing countries and those who cling to fossil fuels and non-renewable sources. 

To answer your question succinctly Jaime, yes it is viable in the future but we need more inquisitive minds like yours to navigate efficient means of harvesting solar in parts of the world where we have hit major barriers. 

Thank you and keep pushing into the deep unknown.

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