Sunday, February 23, 2014
Economist Debate: Solar Energy
Sunlight is free. Turning it into electricity produces no greenhouse gases and the process is getting cheaper every year. These facts suggest solar power ought soon to be a big part of the world's energy mix. However, it is unavailable at night and is most efficiently generated in deserts—places where few potential consumers live and which are often (at least in the case of those near Europe) in countries with questionable governments. Can these problems be overcome? Or is solar power forever destined to be subsidised greenwash that is applied superficially to fossil-fuel-based economies to make them seem more environmentally friendly than they really are?