What is the importance of solar energy today?
Solar technology is still a relatively new technology compared to fossil-based energy generation like coal firing. Nonetheless, it has seen exceptional growth over the past decade. Currently, around 500 gigawatts (GW) of solar is installed globally and about 100 GW were added just in 2018.
This increase is due to climate change and the associated necessity of decarbonization of energy generating technologies. In addition, the political commitments towards sustainability and of course, the almost infinite availability of solar energy are important factors. The technology also owes its growth to the competitiveness against established energy sources.
There is still much growth potential for solar to become one of the key energy sources of the future. One of the main benefits is the fact that solar can be used both as centralized energy and as an easy-to-use decentralized energy source.
With further improvement of smart energy use like batteries, smart homes, smart grid and electric vehicles, renewables will become even more important as the volatile character of energy production related to day and night can be balanced out.