June 14, 2015
The Unstoppable Rise of Solar Power
Solar power is typically inconspicuous, as solar panels tend to sit high on the roofs of our buildings. However, this silent power generator is at the tipping point of an energy revolution.
There are various reasons for the burgeoning success of solar power, but let’s take a look at just three of the major trends that are converging right now.
1. The Cost of Solar Cells Has Fallen Off a Cliff
The above graph will give you a good idea of what we are talking about – massive reductions in the cost of producing solar cells.
Quite honestly, it’s astounding.
Silicon PV cells, which are the central component in most solar panels, have fallen by an incredible 99.6% over the last 38 years. It’s hard to imagine any other items reducing in cost by this amount.
2. Ugly, Badly Fitting Solar Panels Are a Thing of The Past
We’re sure you’re very familiar with bulky and unsightly solar panels. Often their roof fitting looks out of place, and appearance seems to be way down on the list of most solar installers priorities.
Luckily, these unattractive solar panel installations may soon become obsolete. Solar panel manufacturers appear to be aware of the aesthetics issue, and there’s now a real drive to produce slimline, good-looking panels that blend in well with their environment.
The image above shows the Sun Ship building in Freiburg, Germany. As you can see, the architect (Rolf Disch) cleverly uses solar panels as the roof structure on each part of the building. Far from being ugly, the panels actually enhance the overall appearance of the property.
3. The Final Piece of The Puzzle
You’ve no doubt heard it said:
“Solar can never replace conventional energy sources, because at night it ceases to produce any power.”
Well, up until recently, that was in fact the case. However, solar can produce enough energy during daylight hours to power both day and night usage. The problem was a lack of easy or affordable solar-generated power storage.
Time to meet Elon Musk and the Tesla Powerwall and Powerpack.
Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors, and is also well-known for his other companies SolarCity and SpaceX.
As you will see in the above video, Tesla unveiled their new battery storage devices on April 30, 2015.
The Powerwall is priced at $3500 and can store excess energy generated from solar panels and other renewable sources. This stored energy can then be used during the day or night time. Tesla claims that the Powerwall can store 7 kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is enough to provide all the power to a standard house for eight hours.
Please do take the time to watch the 17-minute video to get the full and exciting story on the new Tesla storage batteries.
Solar power is definitely at a tipping point. It’s now inevitable that it will soon become the dominant electricity provider.
You can look forward to a cleaner, greener and quieter future.
And all this, thanks to the sun.
Craig J Todd – Freelance writer with a passion for tech, trends and simplicity.
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