A World Reliant on Solar Power
Published at - September 03, 2021
5 min read
Solar Power is sustainable, reliable, renewable and in certain extant cost-saving. It is good for the environment and the ecosystem. Therefore, it is perfectly rational for human beings to prefer solar power over fossil fuel. However, the reality is different. In our last article, we have shown how and why we use mostly fossil fuel for electricity generation neglecting solar energy. It ponders a more important question. Can the world be completely reliant on solar powers? If it can, what is stopping it from doing so and what can we do about it? The answer to this question isn’t easy. We have discussed the political, economic and logistical reasons for promoting fossil fuel in the last article. In this article, we will draw our attention to our actions, that is- what we can do to make the world completely reliant on solar power.
Tackling Logistical Challenges
The biggest logistical challenge a solar plant faces is related to geography. Solar power is unevenly distributed in the world and therefore not every place on the earth is suitable for solar power. We have talked about polar nights, hill-track regions and areas isolated by adverse geographical elements which make solar energy production difficult. Evidently, two things are most important for efficient solar energy production. Space is the first factor at play. To produce enough energy we need plenty of solar panels spread over a great deal of space. The second factor is the electricity supply and delivery systems. Naturally, places that are more connected and not isolated by adverse situations are more flexible in receiving electricity generated by a solar plant. In addition to that, some places are more suitable for generating solar-based electricity. The challenge here is to deliver solar electricity from connected to isolated places. It needs a strong and all-encompassing delivery system. Therefore, two logistical challenges must be tackled carefully. How can we tackle this challenge?
Using the unused spaces of our Planet:
The first step will be using the unused spaces of the cities, suburbs and villages of a nation to produce sufficient electricity and then establish a reliable system to deliver the produced electricity to all over the nation. Although it may seem difficult to implicate, it’s not impossible. However, people might not feel comfortable giving up free spaces. But we can extend our imaginations. To power the whole world we need plenty of space. Estimates range from tens to hundreds to thousand square miles. It may seem a lot, but we have a lot of places in the world that no one uses. For example, the desserts are often unused and inhabitable. The Sahara Desert is 3 million square miles area alone. There are other desserts and regions that are exposed to the sunlight, but untouched by humans. We just need funding for the right infrastructure.
Replacing Fossil Fuel Plants:
There are more than 2 million fossil fuel plants operating in the world. In our gradual progress toward renewable energy from non-renewable energy, a big step will be replacing fossil fuel plants with solar plants. However, to break the ice for you, it won’t be very easy. However, undeniably it will be a powerful and effective step.
Human race is not alien to innovations and the technologies we use are not stagnant. Rather, our technologies evolve over the course of time. As we have been taught by history, necessity gives birth to innovation. We just need more funding, infrastructure as well as corporations and administrations that promote solar energy. The most efficient solar cell yet converts only 46% of the sunlight to electricity. But we can do more through innovation. Also, we can innovate new ideas of spaces. For example, we can use the sea space and the air-space for installing solar plants. Floating solar plants or solar plants flying in the sky is not impossible, at least not in the twenty-first century.
As I am stating repeatedly, these deals are not easy. We need radical engagement as well as mutual cooperation to build a world reliant on renewable energy.
Actions that we can take
There are various actions we must take to make the world reliant on solar energy and these actions must partake simultaneously. They are-
- More funding and infrastructural development for increasing research on solar cell and solar plant installation
- Increasing international cooperation to produce and deliver solar energy around the globe
- Mobilization of the corporations promoting solar power along with the environment activists
- Government interventions and subsidies for facilitating solar power
- Engagement of the state, mass media and the global civil society and mutual cooperation between them in forming awareness on renewable energy
- Introducing the Increasing use of solar energy in the day-to-day lives of the commons
These actions, when performed simultaneously, will form strong advocacy for the solar energy movement. More innovations will occur and the world will gradually proceed toward being reliant on solar energy completely. It’s a dream we can dare to have. It’s the dream of the new world.