A study from researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany has found that rooftop solar panels could provide all the energy needs for more than 30 million homes in Europe.
The research was detailed in a study, titled ‘Two million European single-family homes could abandon the grid by 2050’, published in the scientific journal Joule.
It found that over half of Europe’s 41 million stand-alone homes could have been self-sufficient using solar panels and battery technology in 2020. This percentage is projected to rise to 75% by the year 2050.
The price of solar panels has fallen significantly in recent years, with the cost of solar power dropping by nearly 90 per cent over the last decade. This means that the world’s entire energy consumption in 2050 could be “completely and cost-effectively covered by solar technology and other renewables”.
“Our results show that even in 2050 going off-grid won’t be the most economic choice, but it could make sense to invest in these kinds of self-sufficient buildings if you are willing to pay more for self-sufficiency,” said lead researcher Max Kleinebrahm. “It would be less efficient to have a large number of households abandoning the grid rather than supporting it.”
A separate study conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter and University College London, found that solar energy has reached an “irreversible tipping point” that will see it become the world’s main source of power within three decades.
The sources for this piece include an article in Independent.