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Published on July 8th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Solar Power Revolution (VIDEO)

July 8th, 2012 by  

This is a great video Thomas recently passed on to me. Worth a watch, but ~40 minutes long, so you probably need to set aside some time for it. The whole video is great, but one note at the beginning was rather interesting to me — we are still “hunter-gatherers” in the field of energy. We still go out and collect the fuel we need to run our power plants and vehicles. Why not use the solar, wind, and water energy right in front of us? Duh.

The video (from a couple years ago) discusses solar around the world, but it also gives some detail on how the German solar energy revolution came about (mostly through Hermann Scheer).

Anyway, the whole video is worth a watch:

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • Great video, thanks for sharing!  I came to a lot of the same conclusions that are expressed in that video by looking at the charts on Cleantechnica and doing the math myself.  

    With Japan following in Germany’s footsteps, the renewable revolution is in full swing.  When solar installations hit 100GW/year, the LCD makers will switch-over high capacity LCD plants to produce PV, at which point we will hit real economy of scale…  

    Nuclear power?  Fossil fuels?  Fugghedaboudit….

    • yes, it’s a lot of fun to watch it after knowing the details…

      i wonder what it would be like to someone not familiar with the industry…

  • anderlan

    I was going to say: “The lady at 3:00 is wrong. It’s not a gigawatt industry in the next five years, it’s dozens of gigawatts already.  The next milestone is 100GW.” But yeah, the video is old. So, good job at being super correct, lady at 3:00!

    • yeah, i thought about that 😀

      figured only people in the know would pay attn to the number anyway 😀

  • ThomasGerke

    Thanks for putting it here. 

    I think this documentary is one of the best I’ve seen on solar energy and I am very happy that the dutch filmmaker who made it became so interessted in this developement. Of course the financial crisis has slowed down a few of the developements that are shown in this video, others are powering ahead. 

  • Z Kriegsman

    Maybe it’s good to mention, that the video was first released in 2008.
    Part of the predictions in the video have already become true!

    Zwerius (Netherlands)

  • Ross

    Taking this analogy with hunter gatherer versus farmer a little further implies the need for a strong, wise and predictable Leviathan. In this case good laws and regulation of the energy sector. 

    • ThomasGerke


      In case of solar power it was crucial to break the market wide open for solar energy to be able to prosper. But with the state of technology & the industry 15 years later it’s alot easier for politicans… they basicly have to remove all the barriers & red-tape that restrict market acces for solar power generators.
      Especially in the sunny US it would be possible to reduce peak-load power prices significantly* by allowing more solar power on the grid. 

      *Under the condition that the market for solar would be as mature as it is in Germany… Favourable regulation, a streamlined  permit process, short supply chains, lots of experienced project developers, stable financing conditions.

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