Our planet is changing, and not for the better. Global temperatures are rising because of our species’ dependence on fossil fuels. The hope for a better future lies, in part, with alternative energy sources. Green energy alternatives like solar power may help us end our dependence on fossil fuels, allowing us to power our cars, planes, and power plants in ways that are safer for our planet – and for ourselves.
But we’re not quite there yet. Solar power has been around for some time now, but it has traditionally been seen as not quite ready for the limelight: too expensive, too inefficient, too weak. That’s changing, and fast. Big and small companies alike are coming up with clean energy solutions that are ushering in a new era of solar energy. Here’s what the fast-approaching future of solar power may look like.
More affordable solar power
It’s no secret that solar power can be cost-effective. Some solar panel owners even sell energy back to their electrical companies, turning their investment in our Earth’s future into a money-making venture in the present. But most major companies haven’t ditched traditional energy quite yet, which shows that there’s still progress to be made in the cost-effectiveness of solar energy.
That’s why perhaps the single most important trend in solar power right now is the way in which the technology is increasingly making dollars and cents as well as good environmental sense. In the same way that fast-advancing technology turned rare and expensive household computers into cheap everyday items and cutting-edge cellular phones into low-cost disposables, solar power’s fast progress is making once-pricey technology affordable to many. Exponential price drops could mean exponentially faster adoption in the all-important business world.
As Sompor explains, the basic principles underlying solar energy aren’t changing anytime soon. But technology can find new ways to use these principles, making solar panels smaller, more affordable, and – as we’ll see in a moment – more beautiful.
On the business side, solar panels that make financial sense are all we really need. But for us individuals, price isn’t everything. Sure, it’s nice to save some cash, but we also want a beautiful home – and solar panels are ugly!
Well, they’re ugly now – but they may not be for long. As clean energy company Power Jack Motion notes in a blog post, the Tesla solar roof is one example of solar energy going easy on the eyes. The terra cotta-like roofing Tesla developed looks normal but acts like a solar panel, meaning looking at your solar panels won’t feel like, well, starting into the sun.
Tesla’s innovation won’t be the last. Expect the future of solar panels to include plenty of strategies for blending in. When you imagine your future neighborhood full of solar panels, don’t imagine solar panels looking as they do now. In fact, your neighborhood may not look different at all. But it will be different, because solar panels will be providing the energy. That’s good news for our Earth and our future on a safe and healthy planet.