The solar versus fossils debate has reached fever pitch of late. Experts have predicted the near enough extinction of fossil fuels within the next few decades.
However, although there will be a shift from fossil fuels in due course, it won’t happen anytime soon.
According to energysage, fossil fuels still power most of the planet. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind only contribute 2-3 percent of global energy needs.
Solar power is a more environmentally friendly source of energy. It’s debatably a more rounded and sustainable source. Costs and other factors play a key role in energy successes, however.
US government subsidies play a pivotal role in shaping the growth potential for renewable energy. Therefore, comparing numbers between solar and fossil fuels can be extremely difficult.
The G20 nations agreed to begin phasing out fossil fuels in 2009. However, this appears to be plodding along on the backburner as fossil fuels are still proving effective.
According to the Oil Change International report, the G20 makes up more than 85% of global GDP. They also spend $452 billion a year to subsidize fossil fuels.
The United States is the largest user of fossil fuels in the world. President Trump is likely to ensure American energy continues the same course of heavy fossil fuel subsidization.
Solar power is subject to the investment tax credit which covers 30% of any residential solar installation. The commercial sector will receive a permanent 10% tax credit, and technology advancements have seen lower costs. It means, solar energy has the potential to be the cheaper of the two energy sources.
Oil, gas and coal are fossil fuels which need to be mined then nurtured to market. Solar energy is generated through developing technology to capture the renewable energy source. It’s not a fuel within itself. Experts have said that costs will continue to fall as technology becomes more advanced.
Energy companies are today developing solar PV projects that can deliver energy at half the cost of coal. The uptake is slower than originally predicted but is set to take off as natural resources become scarce.
Solar can easily be installed on any surface to harnesses an already available resource. By comparison, fossil fuels require mining, and then nurturing to market which can cause many negative environmental impacts.
The only real negative to solar energy is that it hasn’t received universal acceptance yet. Governments must also invest in energy storage solutions to capture the energy solar panels can harvest.
The solar industry is making bold steps toward overcoming these hurdles. Advanced research and development techniques are being discovered to improve PV hardware. More effective and efficient energy storage solutions are being developed. And, governments are moving more toward adopting solar technology on a wider scale. Until this can be achieved, fossil fuels will most definitely dominate the energy industry.