Sarah Mitchell

Will there be a day when the world will rely on solar energy? To answer this question, this TED-ED video looks at the intricate workings of solar panels. He addresses several dynamics surrounding the use of solar panels that currently make using them on a large scale challenging.

Among these are funding and the vast space needed to make global use of energy a reality. Luckily, there’s enough space in the Sahara Desert to generate all the solar energy the world needs. Political goodwill, however, may not be as abundant.

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The resistance to solar energy expansion by current players in the energy sector is another challenge we have to overcome. These setbacks notwithstanding, it’s only a matter of time before the world starts experiencing the full impact of the 173,000 terawatts intercepted by Earth from the sun, which is 10,000 times more than what the world currently uses.

To effectively use solar energy globally, several factors will have to be surmounted, among them logistic, physical, and political impediments. And of course, there’s the issue of operators in the sector who would rather see the status quo undisturbed. To supply electricity to the more than one billion people in the world who don’t have it, residential solar energy is the way to go.

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