Is Solar Power The Future Of Energy?



Solar is not a new energy technology, but its currently undergoing a revolution that could impact the future of energy. With dramatic progress in cost reduction whilst maintaining continal climb in efficiency, solar power is being adopted across the world at an astonishing rate.

But how far can photovoltaics take us? How cheap can it get? Can it become our primary source of energy? Answering these questions requires understanding key the drivers of this technology aswell as some of the constraints that could impact its future scaling.

This is the first video looking at solar and gives an overview for how its positioned and what the risk factors are going forward. The next video in this series will look at the largest challenge facing many renwables – battery storage – and if it can enable solar to realize its full potential.

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Video Credits

General Fusion – Piston Fusion Reactor

UK Nuclear SMR Consortium – Small Modular Reactor Footage

Tesla – Battery Storage Footage

SpaceX – Starship Footage

#Solar #Renewables #Energy

43 comments

  1. Hope you enjoy the video, I've got a number of videos lined up so there should be a number videos coming over the next few months!

  2. I know the whole storage thing is a big ??? mark, but… can't pumped water storage be scaled up to fix that? It's inexpensive, mature, efficient, doesn't create all kinds of waste, and can be done in almost any U.S. market..

    Is there something I'm missing?

  3. The quality of these videos is absolutely phenomenal, keep up the excellent work. I love your channel and you have given me much hope for our future. This channel will absolutely blow up soon!

  4. I think the whole idea of trying to provide en masse for gigantic cities is wrong. I believe localised energy generation/water treatment/water harvesting, all the things that make city life comfortable, is the way to go. So what might that look like? A house that collects rainwater, composting toilet, recycles water through the ground using plants as filters, grows a large amount of the occupants dietary requirements, solar and wind energy on the roof… aka off grid living is the future I think. I'm not sure the current model of societies and cities is sustainable.

  5. Just produce hydrogen. loosing 30% in efficiency? who cares at such low electricity costs? Also, one can reuse natural gas infrastructure for it, pipelining it from tropical regions

  6. I am investing in solar but on a smaller scale. I have a collection of battery packs that I can run a lot of things on. The latest being the Litionite Titan. I love their smaller 50000mh that can have an output of 20V for my laptop. Bills will go up so my consumption will have to go down. If everyone does their part it will make it all so much easier.

  7. Personally, I think the best thing for energy production (apart from workable fusion power) would be to move to satellite-produced power, in either low Earth orbit or, preferably geosynchronous/Lagrange-point-based satellites.

    The technology for cheap(er) launches is almost ready, with Space-X and others developing reusable launch vehicles, especially if capable of launch cargo capabilities of 60 tonnes or more. The recent blind-like solar panels fitted to the ISS, or similar origami-style packaging could be used to quickly place huge solar panel farms into space. Either radio or laser transmission could be used to get the generated electricity back to Earth. A relatively low conversion efficiency could be tolerated to begin with, the scope for improved technology would be enormous.

  8. solar is not cheap, it consumes huge amount of land that no one seems to account for when talking about solar its unreliable in region where it rains occupationally and the materials used in creating solar panels are toxic. once ITER has been fired up and proves the concept of Q10 efficiency we will have truly the future of energy. 1kg of fusion fuel can generate as much power as 1,000,000 kg of coal. Fusion is the same energy source that powers the sun and all stars, what fusion is trying to achieve is bottling a star and harnessing its energy. It is not an easy task but once we solve this puzzle the worlds energy demand will be met, fusion is clean, green and doesn't produce co2 emissions and it runs on hydrogen one of the most abundant elements in our planet.

  9. Solar energy is cheaper than fossil fuels if you don't need electricity at night, or when it's cloudy.

  10. the rare earths are mainly mined in china so it forces companies to set up in china as it wont export the raw rare earths. the USA does not let you dig them up without storing the thorium you dig up as nuclear waste when it would be no more dangerour just to put it back in the ground it does not change the radioactivity by digging it up its not been changed in any way

  11. its a shame solar is not clean most of the broken or very old solar panels end up in the ground leaking there toxins.just amother thing to solve. but I am sure solar will get there.also nearly all $/w are based on 24 hours sunshine.

  12. Just found your channel and I'm impressed, great work you're doing. Keep it up and you'll be successful!

  13. Solar is only artificially cheaper than fossil fuels because governments hike up the price by taxing the shit out of fossil fuels while simultaneously putting up barriers to oil and gas production and discovery as well as its transportation and refining exploding the costs even more. Solar currently relies on artificially cheap rare earths from China as well as cheap panels from China. So what you're saying is you love slavery and genocide and please give us more slavery and genocide so we can combat a made up problem of too much CO2 production. Yes, always what leftists do… murder millions to bring about their utopia.

  14. Seasonal solar variation is probably the toughest problem. But it's not as bad as you might think. More modern grids, with distributed storage, will help a lot. When you consider the limited population in really high latitudes, and how most of them aren't really all that far from sunnier locations, it doesn't look so insoluble. Also, many of those high-latitude populations have other renewable resources to draw on—geothermal, hydroelectric, wave, tidal, wind. Notables cases of this: Norway, Iceland, Canada.

  15. Supply limitations for CIGS and the like are not going to be a real problem. Thin film is great when you need its advantages, but silicon Si going to continue being dominant for the foreseeable future. There's no reason for it not to, with continuing cost reductions and no fundamental barriers looming.

  16. Great video, but there were a lot of (unnecessary) rhetorical questions and references to other videos. I know it's tough to write such scripts, but keep it mind that conciseness is worth a lot.

  17. no mention of how betting on Green energy caused Germany to burn the dirtiest coal & depend on Russian gas?

  18. • the biggest problem with PV (and its accompaning batteries) is how dirty the raw materials needed are to mine & the electronic waste it makes, which poluting levels are on par with nuclear.
    • the biggest trump card PV has is being the ultimate Libertarian electrical sorce, as we can see [in developing countris such as Brazil] in popular housing & poor rural areas being electrified by panels or in suburbs using panels to lower their electric bills, which also feeds energy to hungry grids.

  19. These videos are absolutely incredible and I consider them one of the most reliable and true information sources out there, without a political or commercial agenda. So thank you so much.
    I would love to see more about the energy storage solutions in the future. Generating electricity seems pretty much solved in a few years for the sun-rich countries in the world… But how to store and distribute it when needed? Is it also a possibility that we need to replace the currently used rare earth elements in solar panels?

    Can't wait for the next one! 😛

  20. Well storage is not going to be a problem because of the life cycle of the batteries in electric cars.

    The first 10-15 years of the batteries life is in the car, but then it's better and cheaper to reuse instead of recycle. So these same batteries can then be used in grid storage for 20-30 years.

    What is important for the EV is not so important for grid storage. So when the capacity of the battery has gone down to 85% it's just not good enough for the car, but when it's still good for grid storage even when it's 50%.

    When you look at the amount of battery factories being constructed now, you can see grid storage will massively increase.

  21. dont increase capacity. just take more time. with the same means. more is less. in this case.

  22. not only solar panels. but all energy sources combined. dont bet on onky one horse. keep your mind also tuned for vialeble alternatives, solar,hydro,thermo,kinetic,chemicle,wind,hydro and maybe more. what is not rendable is biofuel, it grows slower then it grows, uranium mined will be de

  23. As far as energy storage goes, Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are looking very promising to fill the role of one-per-day energy storage. Sodium batteries are on the horizon with Na-S trying to decrease its operating temperature, with there also being Na-ion batteries in the works.

  24. OH YES! you're making my evening. I was wondering if you were even still going to make a video. Glad to see that you've not given up. Sorry for being impatient, but your videos are REALLY informative and well made. I guess that's also why they take so long to make…

  25. Have you heard about the Travers solar park in Canada?
    465 megawatts at a 50° latitude. (50°15′16″N 112°43′51″W)

  26. With the invention of superconductors that operate at room temperature, transmission of electricity for longer distances would be efficient. A night demand in the US can be satisfied with an excess produce in Africa. One sun one world one grid!

  27. Tesla is working on a battery with 15'000 cycles so at one cycle per day it would last 40 years.
    At 50$/kwh that would be 0.3 cent per kwh per cycle.

  28. According to Tony Seba the cost of solar should drop by 72% over the next 10 years despite already being the cheapest energy in history!
    So, one cent per kwh in 2030?

  29. Just take a look at Lazard's levelized cost of energy analysis version 14 and you will immediately see it's the future. Went from 359$/MWH in 2009 to 37$/MWH in 2020. From the most expensive to the cheapest energy in just 11 years!

    According to "Photovoltaics report" from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems the EROI (energy return of investment) is 20 and the EPBT (energy payback time) is just one year.

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