Renewable energy is considered by many as the future, but solar PV is currently regarded by some as only being able to provide relatively small contributions towards the energy shift.
Solar PV does however have an enormous advantage – it produces electricity that can be consumed instantly and locally on the site, relieving the grid network from the need to transport electrons across large distances with power losses. And in the case of Japan, with its dependency like so many other nations on centralised generation, if both the generation and distribution infrastructure is damaged it could delay recovery by months if not years.
Tens of thousands of micro-solar-generation sites would have an enormously positive effect on the whole electricity system, much like the millions of minicomputers and smart phones now have on the internet – a symbiosis of central and de-central electron generation and consumption could appear, much like computing went from central mainframes and punch-cards 50 years ago, to a combination of data centres and local computing today.
Centralised facilities still have a place in the overall structure in the computing example and the same will be the case for some centralised power generation in the future electron world after the ‘Energy Shift’.
In the UK and globally, solar energy continues to prove to be the way forward for clean, efficient, economic and ecologically sustainable energy production. What’s more this solution enables customers to be more carbon natural.
The EU has committed itself to reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2020 regardless of the actions of other countries. The EU intends to achieve this through an integrated energy and climate policy where the use of renewable energy sources is encouraged.
In less than a single hour the Earth receives enough energy from the sun to supply all our world’s power needs for a full year. With technological developments, the effectiveness and efficiency of solar PV is leaping forward as a viable sustainable energy solution for all our energy requirements, and solutions are increasingly being successfully established.
Around 12% of the world’s energy requirement already comes from renewable sources and it is increasingly believed that by 2050 it could meet all the world’s energy requirements.
About the author:
Robert ‘Markus’ Feldmann is AZUR SOLAR UK’s managing director. AZUR SOLAR is a renewable energy company with its main focus on solar PV. The company delivers and installs solar PV systems for residential and commercial roofs in the UK, and undergoes intensive research and development efforts towards fully sustainable energy efficiency solutions in the home.