Solar panels give us so much hope for a future with less pollution. As fuel sources in the Middle East continue to dry up and as the cost of fuel continues to rise, more governments and investors are looking seriously at the alternative energy sources available to us.
Along with wind energy, solar energy continues to be one of the top areas of development.
Right now, there are several countries ahead of the United States when it comes to creating solar power. Germany currently leads the way in solar powered development with somewhere in the neighborhood of 17,000 megawatts of solar capacity. In contrast, the largest project in the United States is currently still under development out in the Mojave Desert of Calfornia. It is slated to be a whopping 1300 megawatts when complete.
Making solar power profitable is one of the biggest challenges. Right now, electricity typically sells for about 25 cents per Kilowatt. Solar panels cost about $7 per watt of electrical capacity to install on a house. That means it will take many years of operating before a solar panel plant begins to pay for itself and turn a profit. So many years, in fact, that often the solar panels are completely exhausted by the time they have paid for themselves.
Because of this cost, we are likely to continue to see the two extremes of solar energy Either we will see extremely large plants where the economies of size can have the upper hand on the otherwise exorbitant production costs. Or else, we will see solar panels used in small applications where their small size allows them to be easily transported to remote locations.
Several people have even begun using solar panels to power their cell phones and laptops to give them increased mobility, as well as the peace of mind that they can get power wherever they are. When shopping for the best solar cell phone charger you want to read the reviews of people who have used them, as well as choose a company that has a long track record.
It may be awhile before we see solar power take a front seat in world energy. Until then, we can find little ways to use the sun to make our lives better.