Sun, Sep 07, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Solar power can meet all energy needs: expert

AFP , MADRID

An employee of Japanese electronics giant Sanyo displays the company’s new “eneloop solar light” in Tokyo on Tuesday. The device is equipped with a solar power cell that powers a built-in rechargeable battery. It also has a USB output socket that can be used to charge cellphones or other small electronic devices.

PHOTO: AFP

The world must speed up the deployment of solar power as it has the potential to meet all the world’s energy needs, the chairman of an industry gathering that wrapped up on Friday in Spain said.

“The solar energy resource is enormous, and distributed all over the world, in all countries and also oceans,” said Daniel Lincot, the chairman of the five-day European Photovoltaic Solar Energy conference held in Valencia.

“There is thus an enormous resource available from photovoltaics, which can be used everywhere, and can in principle cover all the world energy demand from a renewable, safe and clean source,” Lincot said.

Lincot, the research director of the Paris-based Institute for Research and Development of Photovoltaic Energy, said solar energy was growing rapidly but still made only a “negligible” contribution to total energy supply.

Last year the world production of photovoltaic models represented a surface of 40km², while meeting the electrical consumption of countries like France or Germany would require 5,000km², he said.

Under current scenarios, photovoltaic models will represent about 1,000km² by 2020, accounting for only about 3 percent of energy needs in the 27-member EU, he said.

More than 200 scientists and solar power experts have signed a declaration calling for the accelerated deployment of photovoltaic power that was launched at the conference.

More than 3,500 experts and 715 sector firms took part in the gathering, billed as the largest conference ever organized in the field of photovoltaic conversion of solar energy.

Germany and Spain are the world leaders in solar energy power.

Germany has 4,000 megawatts of installed capacity, while Spain has 600 megawatts.

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