How Solar Energy Will Serve The World Beyond 2023

Solar power has quickly become one of the fastest-growing sources of power in America, yet still faces challenges that hinder its adoption as an energy source. New designs that capture more sunlight and convert it more effectively will be necessary if solar’s share in the electricity market is to increase.

Lowering costs will enable more households to switch over to solar power. Soft costs comprise most of the expenses involved with installing a system.

Solar energy in the future


As technology progresses, solar power becomes ever-more versatile. Its applications range from industrial applications to household use; for instance, more people than ever are opting for solar-powered appliances like phones, laptops and cameras as everyday appliances.

Solar energy systems have also become more cost-effective over time, as the price of photovoltaic (PV) systems has greatly decreased in recent years while cell efficiency has also seen dramatic gains, meaning that smaller panels now generate more electricity.

Pyramidal lenses that focus sunlight could improve the efficiency of conventional solar panels; plastic-based solar cell alternatives that are less expensive and simpler to produce; and transparent solar cells designed to harvest light through windows are just some of the future developments for solar energy that could emerge in coming years. A more in-depth discussion can be found in NREL’s comprehensive Solar Futures Study as well as seven technical reports which delve deeper into particular domains.


Solar energy hits our planet every day at an unprecedented rate, but as efficiency improves and prices drop this could change quickly. Furthermore, solar is one of the only renewable sources with zero waste production or water-use impact footprint.

Solar power can provide a vital source of clean energy in remote areas where mains electricity is unavailable, or in buildings not suitable for grid connection. Domestic hot water units (using either solar thermal or heat pump technology) frequently utilize it, along with many lighting and other applications.

On a larger scale, photovoltaic technology is employed for either industrial or residential purposes and may feed excess electricity back into the grid. Concentrating solar power plants use mirrors or lenses to focus sunlight onto a smaller area, heating it and producing electricity or fueling another process – the fastest growing solar source with rare materials that may create environmental, health and safety risks along with supply concerns.


One of the best reasons for switching to solar is that it gives you energy independence. By creating your own electricity source, you won’t be dependent on limited fossil fuel supplies and fluctuating energy markets anymore.

Solar power can be utilized in homes both as an independent source of electricity or combined with batteries for storage. When coupled together, these solutions allow homeowners to manage power usage more smoothly while saving money and protecting themselves against rising utility rates.

Combining solar with electric vehicles for increased efficiency and cost savings is also beneficial, by aligning charging sessions with sunlight availability, using second-life batteries as solar storage, or installing panels onto parking canopies or structures to maximize synergies between these technologies.


Solar energy is an eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels that produces no greenhouse gases, making it a viable, long-term sustainable energy solution. Solar power also reduces air pollution and water waste while not using scarce natural resources that may endanger species’ habitats.

Solar panels are constructed from semiconductor materials that convert sunlight to electricity. When sunlight strikes the cells, electrons loosen and power is generated that can be used to power homes, businesses or other facilities.

Though solar energy industry is making significant strides forward, there remain barriers to widespread adoption. One major barrier is cost; equipment from this sector tends to be relatively more costly compared to traditional energy sources; however prices have been rapidly declining as technology evolves and the solar industry grows. Furthermore, some companies are offering take-back programs designed to make solar more accessible; this step towards carbon-free grid is significant step.