One of the many striking images from Tom Hegen’s The Solar Power Series.
But statements like this always are deeply frustrating:
In a single hour, the amount of power from the sun that strikes the Earth is more than the entire world consumes in a year. Having this in mind, renewable energy sources could be the key to combating climate change.
It’s mathematically possible to compare the energy (not power) of the sunlight that strikes the Earth in a year to Earth’s annual electrical energy consumption, but it’s also misleading. It implies that sunlight, if not converted into electricity, is being wasted. Natural light seems pretty useful, as do plants (and heat, although electricity mostly ends up as heat eventually).
I think it’s much more useful to talk about how big one of these solar farms is, what else we might have used that land for (often nothing given they are in the desert), and what dirty power it replaced.