How will solar energy be used 20 years from now?
The future is always hard to predict. But by tracing current trends in energy use, the solar energy industry, and scientific research into the future, we can pull back the curtain just a bit to steal a glimpse of what solar power might look like in 2038.
You might not recognize solar panels in 20 years
Solar panels of tomorrow might look very different from the ones we use today. Researchers at Michigan State University have developed transparent solar panels that could be applied to just about anything. The researchers have suggested that their clear solar panels could be affixed to vehicles, buildings, windows, and even mobile phones.
For example solar power accounts for less than two percent of all U.S. electricity generation today, if these transparent solar panels were installed on every glass surface in the country – some five to seven billion square meters – they could produce up to 40 percent of America’s electricity.