Solar panels installed on a roofSolar power has become a popular energy source for many homes in Canada. In fact, Battery Clerk, a trusted online battery store, says that people on the go are particularly fond of the technology. Despite the growing number of users, however, solar energy is still an underrated energy source. Some experts even believe that we’re not utilizing its full potential.

An Hour of Sunlight for a Year of Energy?

To power the world with the sun, some people think that the earth would have to be littered with solar panels — but this is a misconception. The sun is so powerful that it can provide in an hour the energy we need for a year. Because of this, we only theoretically need a small land area allocation and an efficient way to harvest the energy to meet our energy needs.

Some experts even claim that installing solar panels on 1.2% of the Sahara desert would be enough to power the world.

A Way to go Before the Solar Energy Dream is Realized

Finding the land area in which to build large-scale solar farms is the least of our problems, though. Grid infrastructure does not come cheap. So, although the costs of building solar cells dropped in recent years, a huge amount of investment is still needed to ensure that farms can keep up with global demand.

Moreover, solar energy, like other energy harnessed from the weather, has a low capacity factor, which is the ratio of the actual energy produced compared to the maximum energy it can produce. The solar panel capacity in Europe, for example, is just 15%. Because of this, solar power is less competitive — and therefore, less of an attractive investment — compared to coal power stations, which have a 70-80% capacity factor.

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Continued Growth of Solar Energy

Not to worry, though. Experts believe that the use of solar energy will grow as battery prices continue to drop. Moreover, if efforts continue its trend, solar power will be supplying 10% of the world’s electricity by 2050.

The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy won’t happen overnight. Experts believe that it might even take a century to fully transition to clean energy. But with innovation and research, a world powered by the sun shouldn’t be far off.