When it really comes down to it, you have to wonder why someone hasn’t come out with this sort of declaration before now. I mean, there’s a giant flaming ball of gas in our skies 50% of the time, and we have the technology to turn it into energy.
So it really comes as no surprise that Daniel Lincot, the chairman of the five-day European Photovoltaic Solar Energy conference held in Valencia which wrapped up this past Friday, has made it known that he believes solar power has the potential to meet the planets entire energy demands.
“The solar energy resource is enormous, and distributed all over the world, in all countries and also oceans,” said Lincot. “There is thus an enormous resource available from photovoltaics, which can be used everywhere, and can in principle cover all the world energy demand from a renewable, safe and clean source.”
In his spare time not chairing an industry gathering, Lincot is the research director of the Paris-based Institute for Research and Development of Photovoltaic Energy.
Lincot also noted that, at the moment, solar energy has only made a “negligible” contribution to total energy supply. Apparently, for the year 2007, the total surface area covered by photovoltaic solar panels was only 40 square kilometers. Compare this to the fact that a country like France or Germany would need 5,000 square kilometers, and you can see how far behind we really are.
The gathering in Valenica was attended by more than 3,500 experts and 715 sector firms, billing itself as the largest photovoltaic conversion of solar energy conference ever.
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