CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world. Subscribe today!


Clean Power solar energy potential

Published on April 18th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

6

“In 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day.”

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

April 18th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan 

 
Our quick post the other day on a fun image noting that deserts receive more energy from the sun in 6 hours than humankind consumes within a year was quite popular, as was Vote Solar’s witty solar energy spill billboard, so I figure you might also like the image above that the Australian Youth Climate Coalition dropped on the CleanTechnica ‘timeline’ on Facebook. As it notes, in 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day.

It reminds me of this next image, which I am fond of sharing, that shows annual renewable energy potential compared to the total energy potential of finite energy resources:

solar energy

"Comparing finite and renewable planetary energy reserves (Terawatt‐years). Total recoverable reserves are shown for the finite resources. Yearly potential is shown for the renewables." (source: Perez & Perez, 2009a)

In other words, people who say we don’t have space to power the world with renewable energy are off their bloody rocker.

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , , ,


About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • http://www.energyquicksand.com/ Edward Kerr

    For some really cool info-graphics and insight into the “solar’ potential a look at this video of a lecture (don’t worry it’s a TED and only 13min) by Joe Jordan (a real scientist) is in order. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1y2wll2Ve8 Enjoy…
    Ed

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Thanks, will check that out!

  • Richie

    Average annual growth of energy consumption is 2.6% (since 1966, BP statistical review, not including wood localy used for fire).
    At this rate, the “small” 16TWy/y we use will become a whopping 24,000 TWy/y in 285 years.

    More than what the Sun gives.

    And thermodymadics tell that we will boil in the co-generated heat.

    Cutting down our energy use is imperative (by 3 to 10 times for OCDE countries down to 2000W/capita which is the current world average of primary power consumption)

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Certainly important to cut down energy consumption. But I also wouldn’t extrapolate that growth for so long. That’s nearly impossible, in many respects.

  • Luke

    I’ve seen that bubble graph before… and it’s truly amazing how much sunlight the Earth receives – it dwarfs even the potential of wind energy. I also love the concept of space-based solar power, but its too expensive to work at the moment.

    Nice post…

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Thanks. A good image is worth a thousand words… or maybe even many more. :D

Back to Top ↑