Visions 20: Solar energy conversion
Photovoltaic technology looks ahead to a bright future.
The Earth soaks up enough sunlight in just half an hour to satisfy world energy needs for a whole year. So tapping into this CO2-free and limitless power supply is an obvious route to countering global warming, as well as reducing dependence on non-renewable energy sources.
However, although the basic technology has been around for several decades, harnessing solar energy efficiently and cheaply has proved challenging.
Nevertheless, the market for solar power generation is now growing at more than 40 per cent a year.
Visions 20: Solar energy conversion (PDF, 240 KB)