Oil proponents have been saying for quite some time that solar doesn’t match up to oil’s energy output. That statement has just been proven false. In a major scientific study published in November 2016’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review, scientists looked at 29 studies and compared the solar photovoltaics (PV) generated to the energy needed to create and install the solar panels themselves.
Compiled data from the study came from the 29 separate studies to gain a clearer picture of solar power’s energetic output. What was found was that only five of the twenty-nine studies used recent data, which initially, showed a stark picture of what solar can actually generate. However though, after putting data together with up to date technological advances, the studies showed that solar can generate fourteen times the power needed to create the panels.
The author of the study, Rembrandt Koppelar, is a doctoral researcher at the Center for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, and stated that oftentimes solar studies use data that dates back to 1998. In other words, many studies conducted on solar energy usse technological data that is several years old and not up to date with current capabilities of solar output.
Solar Is Better
A major study by the Royal Society of London in 2013 showed that the average energy output of oil and gas is about fifteen times the amount invested. However though, because of the world’s ever-increasing dependence on lower quality sources of oil, the cost is more expensive and is becoming even more difficult to extract from the Earth. Hence, the number of fifteen is decreasing by the month.
As an example, in the U.S., that number is at eleven for oil and gas and at ten for bio-fuels. Remember that the recent solar study calculated that the rate of return for solar is fourteen times the amount invested. Thus, solar is already beating oil, gas and bio-fuels in the U.S.
Mr. Koppelar also said that nearly 85% of the world lives in areas that receive a significant amount of sunlight. Areas like South and Central America, Africa, the southern United States, and most of Asia and Oceania receive enough sunlight year round that the number of fourteen would be seen as a “low value.” In other words, solar will be able to provide much more than fourteen times the amount of energy that it takes to create the panels in those areas of the world.
This alone makes it worth any endeavor to pursue solar power on a mass scale. In fact, it must now be our duty to take this new information from this study and promote it throughout the world. Every solar power, wind power, geothermal, oil, coal and gas company must now use this information and begin working together to push solar even more. Every politician must now be taught this new information. While this information is likely to spread very quickly, the Tesla company is already making their own paradigm-shifting announcements.
Just last month, the Tesla company announced that they will begin selling solar roof panels in 2017 that will likely be more cost effective than a “regular roof.” Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said:
“It’s looking quite promising that a solar roof will actually cost less than a normal roof before you even take in the value of electricity into account. So the basic proposition would be, ‘Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and by the way generates electricity?’ It’s like, why would you get anything else?”
The clean energy revolution continues to accelerate and will continue to in the days ahead. Sharing this latest scientific study with clean energy skeptics could help, as well as sharing it with clean energy proponents. Awareness and knowledge helps to transform situations. We have the technological means to go completely renewable. Share this good news with whoever you can.
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