The Energy Crisis

The energy crisis

Currently every day humanity uses over a million terajoules of energy. That’s over 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules or a million, million, million joules. And that number is only expected to grow.

Enter the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)

Breaking down the problem

The way I see it to make energy more accessible and sustainable our efforts need to be focused on 2 areas:

  1. Developed countries
    Who are currently still relying on non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels and need a faster transition to renewable.
  2. Developing countries
    Who have limited access to electricity and are forced to rely on things such as inefficient open fires to cook food.

Turning a skyscraper into a solar farm

One of the main barriers with solar panels are the vast space they take up, while sure, you could place a couple thousand of them in the Sahara desert frankly that isn’t convenient.

Photo by Viktor Jakovlev on Unsplash

The Downsides

As with most technologies it isn’t perfect. One of the downsides of PV glass includes the fact that it only has 10% efficiency. Compared to conventional solar panels which have on average 15–20% efficiency. Additionally in general solar panels have the downside of only limited use on cloudy days or at night. (although there is research into “anti-solar panels” which could work at night!)

Key takeaways

  • Humans use A LOT of energy which also has a big impact on the environment. Sustainable, affordable, accessible, and reliable energy is needed.
  • When making energy more sustainable and accessible we have to focus on both the developed and developing countries.
  • A new technology called photovoltaic glass which is a clear solar panel is a potential solution for sustainable energy especially as it can be implemented on large scale in city windows .



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