In a sense solar energy is all about the future. Right now we have the capability to fulfil all of our energy needs from other sources, non-renewable sources like oil, natural gas and coal. But these won’t last forever, so when they run out, or become so scarce that there isn’t enough to go around anymore, we will either need to use a different sort of energy or else drastically change our way of life. Ideally of course we would be able to switch to a different sort of energy. Actually, that is a process which has already started with renewable energy, and solar energy in particular. In the future therefore, the future uses of solar energy will be just about everything that we currently use energy for at the moment, and more!
Solar Energy for Houses
We are already in a situation in which solar energy can be used to power everything in our houses. Whether that be the computer on which you are likely reading this blog posting, or the kettle you use to make a cup of tea, or the television in the living room. Anything that needs power in your home can get it from solar energy when you have solar panels installed on your roof.
At the moment though it is quite expensive to have solar cells installed, even though they are a good long term investment. As soon as you have the solar cells they start to save you money on your electricity bills, and on top of that, at the moment the government is offering a feed-in tariff which pays you for all of the energy which is produced by the solar panels and subsequently is fed back in to the national grid.
In terms of future uses of solar energy then, the only difference will have to be that solar panels become a good short term investment as well as being good in the long run. They have to become more affordable and efficient so that they become obtainable by the majority of people. These are two of the main goals of the research that is currently being done into solar energy around the world, how to make them cheaper and more efficient.
Mobile Solar Energy
Of course the energy we need for static locations is only one kind of the energy we need. We also need energy on the move, for example for transport and electrical devices which we carry with us. Presently solar energy can be used to power watches and calculators but little else. Future uses of solar energy however should include cars, trains and even planes, as well as mobile phones, laptops and any other electrical devices. This will be possible when solar cells are reduced in size and, again, made more affordable.
Research has already been done into nano sized solar cells which will be able to come in many forms, including a spray. This means that you will be able to literally coat devices in solar cells. Also, there is already an unmanned plane that is powered by solar energy, as well as prototype cars.
What this means is that we have much of the technology for the future uses of solar energy, all that is necessary now is for it to become cheap enough that it can become widespread.