by Tara Murphy
We all have a finite amount of resources, in the finite amount of space that we’ve been given to share, in the finite amount of time that we have to spend here on earth, in our finite lives. Or so we think.
Something that a colleague said the other day struck me, we as humans believe that we are limited to the resources that are within the atmosphere and its constraints. However, as he mentioned, there is one external resource that will be around until the end of our time: the Sun. So why are we not using solar power to power everything if it’s an infinite resource?
Half of my heritage is from sunny South India, more specifically Tamil Nadu, which is home to the largest solar farm that exists, called the Kamuthi Solar Power Project. This makes sense. India is a very hot and sunny place and also because we are somewhat close to the equator, so daylight savings doesn’t turn our evenings dark at 4pm. And what’s more, this is one of a few solar farms that have been built in India, with the prospect of more being built over the next few decades. One solar farm producing 2000 megawatts could power up to 700,000 homes, so imagine how many homes could be powered as more and more solar farms take root. Not only is this a hopeful vision for one of the earth’s most populated countries, to be able to power their country using renewable energy, but it’s also an opportunity for the rest of the world to get on board.
In the UK, where solar power is a notion that meets a sarcastic comment about the weather a lot of the time, the opportunity also exists. You could install solar power on your house for as little as £4,000. Considering how much you’d save on your energy bills, this could potentially save you quite a bit of money.
Going back to Tamil Nadu for a ‘hot’ minute (couldn’t help myself), Tamil Nadu is currently in negotiations with our neighbouring state, Kerala. This is because of a very complicated water crisis issue that stems from there being a dam between the two states. This has caused a political riff in the local community, with some areas and mobs being quite dangerous and aggressive. But what if these two states could come to an agreement by where one trades water for another one’s solar power resources. After all, we’re all citizens of the same country and more importantly, citizens of earth.
I’d be naive to think situations are that simple to solve, but one can present the idea ‘sunny side up’ so to let the policy makers and authorities figure out the nitty-gritty. That is, after all, what the members of the WBCSD reflected through their playbook and their research – the nitty-gritty – to help guide companies through similar negotiations.
Have a great day, and I hope you get sun!
‘India – Home to the World’s Largest Solar Farms’ – http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-india-solar-20180319-story.html
‘What lies ahead for the UK’s Solar Power’ – https://www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk/blog/what-lies-ahead-for-uk-solar-pv-in-2018/
Image: Nick Brundle (flickr, Creative Commons)