It’s an astonishing fact that capturing all the energy in just one hour’s worth of sunlight would enable us to meet the planet’s food and energy needs for an entire year. The Solar Revolution tells the story of how scientists are working to reconnect us to the ‘solar economy’, harnessing the power of the sun to provide sustainable food and energy for a global population of 10 billion people: an achievement that would end our dependence on ‘fossilised sunshine’ in the form of coal, oil and gas and remake our connection with the soil that grows our food. Steve McKevitt and Tony Ryan describe the human race’s complex relationship with the sun and take us back through history to see how our world became the place it is today – chemically, geologically, ecologically, climatically and economically – before moving on to the cutting-edge science and technology that will enable us to live happily in a sustainable future.
An innovative analysis that shows how the shift to solar energy—in particular, the use of photovoltaic cells—is both economically advantageous and inevitable, and will rival the information and communication technologies revolution in its transformative effects. In Solar Revolution, fund manager and former corporate buyout specialist Travis Bradford argues—on the basis of standard business and economic forecasting models—that over the next two decades solar energy will increasingly become the best and cheapest choice for most electricity and energy applications. Solar Revolution outlines the path by which the transition to solar technology and sustainable energy practices will occur. Developments in the photovoltaic (PV) industry over the last ten years have made direct electricity generation from PV cells a cost-effective and feasible energy solution, despite the common view that PV technology appeals only to a premium niche market. Bradford shows that PV electricity today has become the choice of hundreds of thousands of mainstream homeowners and businesses in many markets worldwide, including Japan, Germany, and the American Southwest. Solar energy will eventually be the cheapest source of energy in nearly all markets and locations because PV can bypass the aging and fragile electricity grid and deliver its power directly to the end user, fundamentally changing the underlying economics of energy. As the scale of PV production increases and costs continue to decline at historic rates, demand for PV electricity will outpace supply of systems for years to come. Ultimately, the shift from fossil fuels to solar energy will take place not because solar energy is better for the environment or energy security, or because of future government subsidies or as yet undeveloped technology. The solar revolution is already occurring through decisions made by self-interested energy users. The shift to solar energy is inevitable and will be as transformative as the last century's revolutions in information and communication technologies.
Yemen has been involved in a civil war with foreign military intervention since 2014. Throughout the conflict, the majority of the population have been cut off from the public electricity grid. However, as alternatives have been unavailable, the country has turned to decentralised solar energy, giving rise to an unprecedented deployment of solar (home) systems. This report uses own calculations, new household surveys, and extensive literature research to document Yemen's solar revolution. While the report identifies central drivers for the diffusion of solar energy, it also discovers critical barriers: Since 2017, growth in the solar sector has been stagnating, since bottlenecks in the sector hamper a further diffusion. The article concludes with a set of recommendations for both international and local actors, and it shows how targeted funding and projects can set the course for sustainable development, energy access, and climate change mitigation simultaneously.
The sunshine that hits the Earth in a single hour could meet the world’s food and energy demands for an entire year. If only we could make use of it that is. Solar power is not just about turning sunlight into electricity – we also need a way of capturing and storing it, of moving it around to where it’s needed. Of providing power during the night. In short, we need a way of bottling sunshine so that we can have as much of it as we want, wherever and whenever we like. Solve this, and we will welcome the solar revolution. Our current coal, oil and gas energy supplies rely on sunshine captured long ago by plants and animals long since fossilised. Harnessing the sun directly would open the way to a future free from the side effects of burning carbon. But that’s not the only reason to look to the sun. By 2050, the world’s population is predicted to rise to some 10 billion individuals. Our energy requirements will nearly double over the same period. Today we are burning through 20 million years of fossil record every year. We use this energy to stock our supermarkets, light our homes and run our businesses. In the long run, we’re going to need to find a new way of powering our lifestyles. In ‘The Solar Revolution’, Steve McKevitt and Tony Ryan explore this energy problem and the solutions on offer. From nuclear to wind, fossil fuels to sunshine, they look at where our energy comes from and what the issues are with producing it this way or that. They delve into the science that underpins it all as well, explaining exactly how the sun’s rays might be turned into a new liquid fuel to power the world.
Fund manager and former corporate buyout specialist Travis Bradford argues -- on the basis of standard business and economic forecasting models -- that over the next two decades solar energy will increasingly become the best and cheapest choice for most electricity and energy applications. In this BIT, Bradford provides the basic facts about solar energy and describes a variety of economic and political incentives that would encourage its use.
Our civilisation stands on the brink of catastrophe. Our thirst for energy has led to threats from global warming, nuclear disaster and conflict in oil-rich countries. We are running out of options. Solar power, Keith Barnham argues, is the answer. In this eye-opening book, he shows how a solar revolution is developing based on one of Einstein's lesser known discoveries, one that gave us laptop computers and mobile phones. An accessible guide to renewable technology and a hard-hitting critique of the arguments of solar sceptics, The Burning Answer outlines a future in which the fuel for electric cars will be generated on our rooftops. It is, above all, an impassioned call to arms to join the solar revolution before it's too late.
Using the little-known equation E=hf as the foundation for a compelling new vision, The Burning Answer reveals the importance of embracing solar energy as the only solution to the global energy crisis. Our society faces a choice. We could be enjoying a sustainable lifestyle but we have chosen not to. In three generations we have consumed half the oil produced by photosynthesis over eight million generations. In two generations we have used half our uranium resources. With threats from global warming, oil depletion and nuclear disaster, we are running out of options. Solar power, as Keith Barnham explains, is our necessary solution. In The Burning Answer he uncovers the connections between physics and politics that have resulted in our dependence on a high-carbon lifestyle, which only a solar revolution can now overcome. Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 led to the atomic bomb and the widespread use of nuclear energy; it has delayed a solar revolution in many countries. In a fascinating tour of recent scientific history, Keith Barnham reveals Einstein's other, less famous equation, the equation the world could have relied on. Barnham explains that the roots of solar energy lie in a little known equation E=hf, an equation which was coincidentally celebrated (and explained to the world) by Einstein in the same year he discovered E=mc2. He alleges that the former equation has been overlooked in favor of the latter, much to our detriment, and Barnham is here to offer us a solution: We can still turn things around and solar energy is the key. While everyone is aware of solar energy, people are still not paying enough attention, and so as well as explaining the science behind it, Barnham takes his subject forward to advise on what we should be doing to utilize this amazing energy source. In this provocative, inspiring, passionately argued book, Keith Barnham outlines actions that any one and all of us can take to make an impact now and on future generations. The Burning Answer is a solar manifesto for the new climate-aware generation and a must-read for climate-change skeptics.