Your Questions About Sustainable Energy For All

Mark asks…

Would solar panels on the roof of every building solve our energy problems?

I know a few people around here who have used government grants to help install solar panels on their roofs. Given that this is the UK and sunshine is a rare commodity here, they still manage to produce more energy than they use, and actually get a small rebate each year from selling off excess electricity back to the National Grid (our national power infrastructure).

Are there reasons why this can’t be adopted globally? Are solar panels difficult to mass-produce (I imagine they use a few rare-earth elements in there somewhere) or is it just down to a lack of willpower to embrace sustainable energy? How well would the technology scale up from powering individual households to powering energy-hungry manufacturing industries?

I’m not expecting an answer to all those, but I’d like to hear opinions from anyone who might have some knowledge of how it works.

admin answers:

Right now, we don’t have a good large-scale energy storage technology, and we can’t run HGVs or aeroplanes or container ships on solar panels. (at least not the current big heavy ones)
Having a lot of solar panels feeding the grid requires a lot of gas-turbine power stations to make up the difference and respond to rapid fluctuations in demand and supply.

In principle, we might be able to generate hydrogen during the day and use fuel-cells at night, or
run aircraft on liquid hydrogen.

Daniel asks…

Thinking of changing my major from International Business?

I am currently enrolled in college and am thinking of changing my major from International Business, to Global Marketing or Global Finance. Which major offers better pay, working conditions, etc? . I would like to get into sustainable energy, but I do not think I have the math aptitude for engineering. Which of these degrees is in more demand these days?

admin answers:

I believe International Business is in demand itself but Finance in general is in high demand so long as you’re from a good school or one that’s well-connected.

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