Thursday, May 21, 2015

MIT Future of Solar Energy Study

In the face of the global warming challenge, solar energy holds massive potential for meeting humanity's energy needs over the long term while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Solar energy has recently become a rapidly growing source of electricity worldwide, its advancement aided by federal, state, and local policies in the United States as well as by government support in Europe, China, and elsewhere. As a result

the solar industry has become global in important respects. Nevertheless, while costs have declined substantially in recent years and market penetration has grown, major scale-up in the decades ahead will depend on the solar industry's ability to overcome several major hurdles with respect to cost, the availability of technology and materials to support very large-scale expansion, and successful integration at large scale into existing electric systems. Without government policies to help overcome these challenges, it is likely that solar energy will continue to supply only a small percentage of world electricity needs and that the cost of reducing carbon emissions will be higher than it could be.

A policy of pricing CO2 emissions will reduce those emissions at least cost. But until Congress is willing to adopt a serious carbon pricing regime, the risks and challenges posed by global climate change, combined with solar energy's potential to play a major role in managing those risks and challenges, create a powerful rationale for sustaining and refining government efforts to support solar energy technology using the most efficient available policies.
MIT Future of Solar Energy Study

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