Are we on the cusp of a solar energy boom?

Solar power is getting much easier to store — and at a much cheaper price

A newly opened solar power energy and storage plant in Spain.
(Image credit: Ruediger Fessel/dpa/Corbis)

The total solar energy hitting Earth each year is equivalent to 12.2 trillion watt-hours. That's over 20,000 times more than the total energy all of humanity consumes each year.

And yet photovoltaic solar panels, the instruments that convert solar radiation into electricity, produce only 0.7 percent of the energy the world uses.

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