TechExperts say that solar energy can become the main source of energy in the world

Experts say that solar energy can become the main source of energy in the world

Experts say that solar energy can become the main source of energy in the world
Images source: © Getty Images | Mario Tama

11:03 AM EDT, October 22, 2023, updated: 4:55 AM EDT, October 23, 2023

Scientists in the United Kingdom analyzed three different models, taking into account the development of technology, energy, and the economy. Their simulations suggest that solar energy is well on its way to becoming the main source of energy worldwide.

Even without further government incentives in the form of financial support or tax relief, solar energy may soon become the most widespread alternative to traditional energy sources, predicts the main author of the article published in Nature Communications, climatologist Femke Nijsse from the University of Exeter. In his opinion, solar panels can dominate the energy sector by the mid-21st century.

In 2016, solar energy became the cheapest source of energy in over 60 countries. By 2020, the International Energy Agency declared that this type of renewable energy is officially the cheapest electricity in history - cheaper than both coal and gas in most major countries. If the costs of obtaining and storing such energy continue to drop, solar panels have a real chance of dominating other solutions. At least, that's what the researchers claim.

Will the importance of solar energy be increasing?

In 2020, fossil fuels produced over 60 percent of the world's electricity. New models predict that by 2050, this number will fall to 21 percent. For comparison, solar energy will be responsible for 56 percent of the world's electricity production. In more than 70 percent of simulations, solar energy accounted for half of the world's electricity generation by 2050.

Nijsse emphasizes that the financial and economic sectors should prepare for such a change. According to the authors of the study, the dominance of solar energy is not only possible, but also the most likely. This is primarily influenced by economic factors. They also notice that the use of fossil fuels probably won't fall to zero, but will have a marginal significance on a global scale. This, in turn, is good news for those who care about combating progressing climate changes.

Related content