Taming the Sun

Solar Panels

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Solar energy, the cheapest and fastest-growing power source on earth, has nearly unlimited potential. However, energy expert Varun Sivaram warns that the world is not yet equipped to harness erratic sunshine to meet most of its energy needs. Yet, Sivaram believes innovation can brighten these prospects. Financial innovation is already enticing deep-pocketed investors to fund solar projects around the world, from the sunniest deserts to the poorest villages. Technological innovation could replace today’s solar panels with coatings as cheap as paint and employ artificial photosynthesis to store intermittent sunshine as convenient fuels. And systemic innovation could add flexibility to the world’s power grids and other energy systems so they can dependably channel the sun’s unreliable energy. Join us as we discuss the future of solar energy with Varun Sivaram, Philip D. Reed Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations and a leading expert in the field.