Much has been written about how solar power could help to
solve the energy crisis facing mankind. Ideas range from
harnessing the Sahara’s heat through parabolic mirrors to
transmitting solar energy from space to earth.
The Desertec solar project, for example, aims to supply 15
percent of Europe’s energy needs by 2050. Yet according to
Brussels-based EPIA, the world’s biggest solar industry
association, more could be achieved some 30 years earlier.
Technically, Europe’s roofs could meet 40 percent of the
EU’s electricity demand in ten years from now — at least in
“With a total ground floor area over 22,000 km2, 40 percent
of all building roofs and 15 percent of all facades in (the EU’s
27 member states) are suited for PV (photovoltaic)
applications,” EPIA wrote.
“This means that over 1,500 GWp (gigawatt peak) of PV could
technically be installed in Europe which would generate annually
about 1,400 TWh (terawatt hours), representing 40 percent of the
total electricity demand by 2020.”