Solar power plant in Sanlúcar la Mayor, near Seville, Andalusia, Spain (37°26’N – 6°15’W) © Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
Large solar power plants on the hot plains of southern Spain use mirrors to concentrate solar energy and heat pipes containing liquid or salt to temperatures of 3–400°C. The heat is used to create steam that powers turbines. This is just one way in which solar energy is used. Solar panels power homes directly, providing light and charging mobile phones, etc. Although still at the experimental stage, the first solar-powered cars, aeroplanes and ships have also been built.
GOAL 07: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
GOAL BY 2030: ACCESS FOR ALL TO RELIABLE, SUSTAINABLE AND MODERN ENERGY AT AFFORDABLE PRICES.
In a country like Denmark, it is easy to forget just what an impact electricity makes. Around a billion people worldwide have no electricity, which is one of the reasons they are unable to break the circle of poverty. It is difficult for them to do homework, watch television or listen to the radio. They can’t use fridges to preserve food, or labour-saving devices like vacuum cleaners and washing machines. Many people are dependent on wood-burning stoves, which are unhealthy, polluting and slow, leaving less time to work and earn money. Unless you have electricity, the benefits of computers, mobile phones and the internet are all out of reach.
The goal by 2030 is to generate far more off-grid wind and solar power in remote areas and on islands. We will soon be able to do without fossil fuels such as coal and oil that contribute to global warming and dangerous pollution. Only 25% of Denmark’s electricity now comes from coal, natural gas and oil. The rest comes from wind and biogas, as well as a small amount from solar power, supplemented by hydroelectricity and nuclear power from neighbouring countries.
Another target is to improve the design of buildings and appliances and make them far more energy-efficient. Researchers all over the world are already working hard together to find better energy solutions and technologies.