How to get to a solar-based future, according to MIT

A new development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology outlines their take on solar power’s future and offers a detailed vision of the future, but finds problems in the support U.S. solar gets today.

The MIT team behind “The Future of Solar Energy,” a study released earlier this month, believes that solar alone has the potential to address climate change by 2050, but warns that are three potential hurdles solar must overcome to fulfill its huge potential:

Is today’s technology, with incremental improvements here and there, enough?

According to an article from Utility Dive, “only significant breakthroughs in solar technology will solve problems in cost, scaling, and intermittency that currently are preventing it from becoming the dominant global electricity provider,” MIT researchers outlined in their research.

While advocates of solar energy and photovoltaics celebrate an 85% drop in solar equipment price, solar power will have to seek cost-effective and cost-competitive alternatives, especially as market factors and higher penetrations force the price back up.

“It will take increasing solar by a factor of 65. Not doubling, but a factor of 65,” the article states.” This must be done on a global scale – including countries like China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa who will need more cost-effective solutions.

 

Read the full article and summary of the study here.

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