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Five Minute Monday – Why Aren’t We Only Using Solar Power?

Given that the Sun is an infinite source of energy*, and we are able to turn the Sun’s energy into electricity, why haven’t we converted ALL our energy usage into solar energy? Why is digging up long-dead plants in the form of coal (a non-renewable source) more cost-efficient than the free light of the Sun?

Well the answer is fairly simple. A single cloud can drastically reduce the amount of power generated by a solar panel. (Maybe I just saved you 5 minutes of watching this video with that statement.) After watching this video however, I still don’t understand why batteries cannot be used to store excess electricity and become the source of power when a cloud passes over the panel. Perhaps they would run out after 2-3 days of cloud cover, but still. Perhaps someone can explain this to me in the comments.

I chose this video was because of the awesome animation. Assuming the wool knitting is real and not computer generated, I’m impressed at the effect.

* Note: If the Sun’s energy ever runs out, we have bigger problems then just a lack of electricity.


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