Solar power has enormous potential and can provide 1,000 times more energy than this world needs but yet at the end of 2008 solar power satisfied only 0.02% of global energy demand. Main reason for this is its lack of cost-competitiveness with fossil fuels, and also inadequate efficiency of current solar power technologies.
The solution to how can solar energy become more competitive with fossil fuels is quite simple - by producing cheaper and highly efficient solar cells. Science is well aware of this and large number of solar cell developers are working on different solutions to produce relatively cheap and super-efficient solar cells.
New-generation solar cells include many different concepts and designs such as growing photovoltaic crystals, using carbon nanotubes, applying special coatings, and some scientific studies have looked very promising in taking us one step closer to the discovery of cheap and highly efficient solar cells.
Many energy experts predict that solar energy will be the dominant energy source in future because of its almost unlimited potential but in order for solar energy to fulfill this potential science will have to step in, and make solar power technologies cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
Solar energy is one of the keys for clean energy future, and many energy experts expect that real renewable energy revolution will only start once solar cells would be able to extract much more energy from the Sun that they can today.
It is difficult to predict when can we expect this breakthrough in solar power technologies. No doubt, a lot more research into solar cells will be needed before science comes up with the cost-effective method to convert much of the Sun's energy into electricity.
But with so many ongoing research future definitely looks bright for solar energy.