Solar energy is predicted to be important energy source in USA by 2031
The just completed Solar Power International Conference and Exhibition in Dallas Texas painted a bright future for the use of solar energy in the USA, according to Julia Hamm, President and CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). Hamm, who addressed the conference a few days ago, predicted that solar energy will become an important of the US utility system during the next 20 years and result of less reliance on fossil fuels. Some of her predictions include a national clean energy policy by 2013 and the majority of cars in America running on electricity by 2022. She also predicted that solar energy will be the largest job creator by 2026 and that at least 30% of the nation’s utilities will run on solar energy by 2031. Is she dreaming or could this really happen? If it does, this means opportunities for Middle East companies and innovators.
More effort needed to make solar mirrors and arrays friendlier to wildlife
Weaning America from dependence on fossil fuels as well as creating jobs are two important issues for development of solar energy, despite some criticism about the “down side” of solar energy due to solar energy array projects creating potential harm to animals in areas designated as nature reserves.
Ideas footed at the conference to help promote the use of solar energy include increasing the price for using fossil fuel generated energy (through government levies and taxes) and creating a national energy policy that will have guidelines pertaining to use of renewable energy in regards to energy investment decisions.
Despite reservations toward wildlife being harmed by large solar array farms, the benefits of solar energy appear to far outweigh any potential harm. The Middle East, one of driest regions in the world, has an abundance of sunshine, which could result in this region benefiting from innovations in solar energy technology, including modular blocks solar energy projects now underway in locations like Arizona, which also has an abundance of annual sunlight.
Regime changes occurring in the Middle East as a result of the “Arab Spring” uprisings may also result in opportunities for more attention towards solar energy projects; especially as fossil fuels become scarcer and more expensive.
The final outcome regarding solar energy could result in more countries following America’s lead, if the world’s highest user of fossil fuels becomes the highest developer of solar energy. If this happens, many other countries, including those in the Middle East, are sure to follow.
More about solar energy in the US and Mid East:
Solar Edge Does Dallas
Arab Spring May Boost Chance for Desertec Solar Power
Solar Energy’s Not so Sunny Side
Working in Blocks, Spin-offs of Arizona Solar Energy Could Benefit Mid East
Photo: Spiegel International