Why am I hung up on solar energy?

  1. Every part of the planet has access to this energy source, in enough quantities to meet all of their energy needs. As long as the sun pumps out energy, all we need to do is capture and store it. No country has a monopoly.
  2. It is a small and decentralized electricity source. It can be produced on a small scale directly by the end consumers in contrast to large centralized conventional energy sources controlled by large corporations
  3. Reduced Dependence on Fossil Fuels.  Solar energy production does not require fossil fuels and is therefore less dependent on this limited and expensive natural resource. Solar power can restrict climate change as it produces no carbon emissions.
  4. Environmental Advantages.  Solar power production generates electricity with a limited impact on the environment as compared to other forms of electricity production (mining for coal or oil, burning biofuels, damming rivers).

The democratization of energy fascinates me. Universal access to electricity is the indispensable starting point for improving the lives of the poorest populations of the world. Because renewable energy (be it solar, wind, geothermal or hydro) — is widely distributed, the developing world has, for the first time ever, an advantage. Their lack of infrastructure means that they are not burdened with an aging electrical grid. They could potentially “leapfrog” beyond us by building a new, distributed electricity system from scratch — rather than continuing to patch up an old and outworn grid.