It’s only fitting that the country that invented modern solar technology will eventually be the leader in its implementation.
There are many reasons to agree with a recent guest article by Brad Mattson on HuffingtonPost.com. Brad explains reasons why the U.S. will eventually steal the solar power limelight away from Germany and China.
Although he primarily points to local manufacturing as our the main path to securing this goal, the fact of the matter is that the overall costs associated with installing solar panels in America have been falling quickly. Solar power has surpassed grid parity when you take a long term view. Power users of all types and scales will switch to solar to not only save money, but to do the right thing environmentally.
According to the HuffingtonPost article, the world has only installed 130 Gigawatts of solar power. Mr. Mattson predicts a future where solar power supplies 14% of the world’s energy needs by 2050. This would take a total of 15,000 Gigawatts of solar power. This would definitely take a major shift in our current energy status quo.
The combination of the now economic feasibility of solar power and climate change concerns will force solar to the forefront of our energy priorities. The change is already happening. Coal plants are beginning to be closed down and phased out. I’m optimistic that the leaders of the fossil fuel companies will begin to invest heavily into renewable energy sources like solar and wind simply because it makes good business sense. The good image publicity will be an added bonus.
Hopefully, the powers that be will finally realize the responsibility that they have to be better shepherds of our environment. After all, it’s in their best interest to do so as the financials are starting to change in favor of clean tech.
The United States has always been the embodiment of the capitalist spirit. It would be unthinkable if America would choose to not take full advantage of the enormous opportunity that solar power represents. As Mr. Mattson put it – solar power is the “greatest energy story of the 21st century”.