Can solar energy solve the human energy crisis?
With the increasing use of energy, especially fossil energy, the constraints of energy on human economic and social development and the impact on resources and environment are becoming more and more obvious. Exploring the use of new energy sources other than fossil energy and accelerating the development of new energy industries has become an important issue that all human beings need to face together.
According to the current energy consumption rate, the world's known reserves of oil can be mined for about 40 years, natural gas can be mined for about 50 years, and raw coal can be mined for about 200 years. America's coal is still less than 100 years old, and oil is less than 20 years. Even if all the wind and water resources are developed, it will not provide 20% of energy. And who is willing to live in the middle of a huge nuclear reactor? And America's energy demand is still growing at a rate that doubles every 10 years. What is the future to provide energy security?
Sunlight is the source of most forms of energy on Earth. If one thousandth of America's solar radiation energy can be used to generate electricity, it is enough to solve the national electricity demand. When human beings face the dilemma of traditional energy depletion, only the inexhaustible sunshine is the permanent solution to the energy problem. At present, the national solar power generation capacity is only equivalent to a small power plant, and the global solar power generation capacity is also less than the level of a Three Gorges. The future PV market has huge space.
As the most important way of solar power generation, “photovoltaic” technology has been put into large-scale application since the end of the last century. In the past 10 years, the global PV market has expanded 30 times. However, due to the high cost, PV has always been a political vase for a few national governments, or an environmental game. In the past 10 years, no more than two countries have driven the global market every year.
Since the second half of 2008, the global financial crisis that lasted for one year has brought a severe winter to the PV market. Component prices have fallen by more than half in a year. But at the same time, it brings more opportunities. The cost of photovoltaic power is reduced from more than 3 yuan to nearly 1 yuan. Governments around the world are gradually beginning to understand the huge potential economic value of photovoltaics and the need to promote photovoltaic applications. The power to drive the growth of the photovoltaic market has spread to many countries. The vigorous promotion of the governments of the United States, China, Japan, Italy and other countries will drive another boom in the photovoltaic industry.
In the long run, thermal power, hydropower, wind power, and nuclear power are all facing the pressure of rising raw materials, rising resource costs, and comprehensive costs are facing a significant increase. Taking coal-fired power as an example, according to the calculation of Greenpeace, considering the external costs such as resource depletion and pollution, the comprehensive cost is about 0.6 yuan, and it is increasing at a rate of about 5% per year. Among all the major forms of energy, only photovoltaics have huge room for cost reduction.
According to this trend, photovoltaic power generation costs will no longer be a disadvantage within five years. Especially in regions with high global energy prices (including Europe, North America, etc.), the cost of photovoltaic power generation will start to be lower than the price of residential electricity, the so-called "parity online." That is to say, the government no longer needs subsidies, and the economics of photovoltaics can prompt people to install. By then, cheap, clean photovoltaic power will be sought after by funds, and face a real blowout.
At present, more than 60% of the global PV industry chain is in America, contributing annual sales revenue of 100 billion yuan. Despite the rapid development of the past five years, the industry has just emerged from its infancy, standing at a new starting point, ready to usher in a prosperous period that no one can predict in the foreseeable future.
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