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Future of Solar Energy Brighter Than Sun: Rapid Innovations Pave the Way.

Future of Solar Energy Brighter Than Sun: Rapid Innovations Pave the Way.  By: Swamini Kulkarni, January 24th, 2020

We live in the age of automation and artificial intelligence. We need smartphones with long-lasting battery backup. We demand computers with higher computing power. In short, we require more and more energy. And when it comes to energy, we often turn to the most sustainable power alternative: solar energy.

Its abundance is not the only aspect that makes it the best candidate to fulfill increasing energy demand. Over the last few years, it has overcome several hurdles that prevented it from last-scale adoption. The global value of the market is increasing at a colossal compound annual growth rate of 20.5%.

The solar energy market has come a long way. In 2018, the market accounted for $52.5 billion, according to research firm Allied Market Research. Now, Allied Market Research predicts that the global solar energy market will reach $223.3 billion by 2026.

The surge in rooftop installation and rapid adoption in the architectural field are the prime drivers of the increasing demand for solar cells. Moreover, recent technological marvels have boosted the adoption of solar panels to generate electricity. For instance, researchers have developed a novel design that could squeeze more energy from solar panels. Additionally, the prices of solar panels have decreased significantly over the past couple of years. Moreover, researchers at the University of Houston recently published a paper unveiling a hybrid device that can both capture and store solar energy.

Moreover, squeezing maximum efficiency out of a regular solar panel is another challenge. Currently, the silicon-based solar panel offers only 33% efficiency, which means most of the solar radiation is not used to generate electricity.


  1. The efficiency figures given are grossly misused – it is the cell’s efficiency, not the modules….
  2. The actual availability of solar insolation / irradiation is limited by the local weather aka “Climate”.
  3. Therefore we have here an inherent barrier - existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute.
  4. The cascading impact of solar (and wind for this matter) on base-load steam plants is being foolishly ignored.
  5. The U of Houston is my alma mater...


Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 27, 2020 4:12 pm GMT

Noam, I think you discredit your alma mater with

"The cascading impact of solar (and wind for this matter) on base-load steam plants is being foolishly ignored."

Wind and solar are guaranteeing shale gas extraction, and natural gas generation of electricity, a place in U.S. energy indefinitely.

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Jan 28, 2020 4:09 am GMT

Bob, you are going off the subject - oil and gas are ground roots, they will grow up. 

Solar and wind are displacing base-load powerr plants.  Steam plants must be hot to generate, cannot meet the needs - owners are bailing out.

The reality is that that in Germany and California electrical energy retails around $300 / MWh.  In Texas I pay aroud $90 / MWH.  It is actually $0.09 / kWh + plus fees and taxes, about 12 cents / kWh vs. 28.5 + fees and taxes - well over 35 cents / kWh in california.

Read and verify, then write again.

GE Shuts Down California Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant 20 Years Early

By Paul Ausick June 25, 2019 9:30 am | Last updated: January 6, 2020 3:28 am

Last Thursday, General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) filed a decommissioning and demolition plan for its Inland Empire Energy Center, a natural gas-fired electricity generation plant in Riverside County, California. The gas-fired plant opened in 2009. Similar plants have an expected life span of about 30 years, but GE has decided to close this one after just 10 years of operation.

The electricity generated by the plant is sold on the open (unregulated) market and was designed to supply base-load power. In last week’s filing, GE offered this terse explanation of why it is shutting down the plant: “The plant is highly efficient but is not designed for the needs of the evolving California market, which requires fast start capabilities to satisfy peak demand periods.” California aims to source 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2045 and 50% by 2025.

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