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Just 1/10,000th of the surface of the Earth covered with current solar panel technology would meet all of humanitys energy needs, which equates to just a few percentage of the area of world deserts.
A recent report by British Petroleum (BP) showed that solar energy production is doubling every 2 years with a surge last year in 2011 of 73.3%. Ray Kurzweil, inventor and futurist claims that solar
energy is now on an exponential path having doubled 10 times in the last 20 years.
The implications of exponential growth are massive. If you take 30 linear steps 1,2,3,4 30 steps later you reach 30. When you take 30 exponential steps 1,2,4,8,16,32,64 you reach 1 billion. This is the same pattern computer power has been following for nearly 5 decades (first noticed by Gordon Moore who coined the term Moores Law to describe it).
If Kurzweil is correct and the world solar production is following an exponential growth curve our current 0.5% world energy production from solar is just 2 decades away (16 with today`s requirement but 20 allowing for future energy needs) from having clean, cheap and renewable energy for all.
Of course it is still early days to be making such bold claims but Kurzweil has a pretty great track record with predictions and has been following trends like these for many decades now.
P.S: The and the pic aren´t mine so do not take.
Source link: http://www.interestingengineering.com