Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Is Solar Power On The Horizon?

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumAugust 13, 2008 8:28 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

This week at NexGen, we're tackling solar power:


We hear about it all the time... Solar power as a renewable energy source. Not a bad idea considering that spectacular star of ours isn't burning out anytime soon. According to Scientific American, a massive transition to solar power plants could supply 69 percent of U.S. electricity and 35 percent of our total energy by 2050--with $420 billion in subsidies to fund the infrastructure that would make it cost-competitive. So is a solar future really on the horizon and possible on that scale?

Naturally, your resident blogger has a few questions:

Before we all jump on the solar bandwagon, do readers think this is the way to go? And are local subsidies for private homes and businesses better than large-scale production involving transmission of electricity (accounting for associated loss)? Imagine a future where solar panels pave the desert between Phoenix and Los Angeles and consider whether that be worth the ecological footprint?

Check out my latest post on harnessing the sun's energy and weigh in with your take on whether it's feasible for our future, or a bunch of hot air.

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 50%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In