Solar Could Provide One-Sixth Of World's Energy Use
Solar could provide one-sixth of the world’s heating and cooling needs by 2050, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). This would eliminate 800 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, which is more than Germany’s total carbon emissions in 2009. It would also save money since heating and cooling account for about 56 percent of the energy use in an average U.S. home.
Specifically, solar could provide more than 16 percent of total energy use for heating and 17 percent for cooling. Meeting that goal would include using solar collectors for hot water and space heating, solar collectors for low-temperature process heat in industry, and heating for swimming pools. It would also require a “rapid expansion of solar hot water heating in the building sector, including in solar supported district heating, as well as in industrial applications.”