Solar Panel Innovations Could Enable Millions to Disconnect from the Grid

A new study by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany reveals that over 30 million homes in Europe could meet their energy needs through rooftop solar panels alone. This research suggests that more than half of Europe’s 41 million freestanding homes could have been self-sufficient in 2020 using solar and batteries, a figure expected to rise to 75% by 2050. Advancements in solar technology are making it economically viable for some of these homes to disconnect from the electrical grid.

However, the study argues that it would be more efficient for households to remain connected to the grid and feed excess energy back to others during times of overproduction. The falling costs of solar panels, which have decreased by nearly 90% over the last decade, could potentially lead to complete and cost-effective coverage of the world’s energy consumption by solar technology and renewables by 2050, according to another study. Additionally, solar energy is projected to become the primary global energy source within three decades, surpassing fossil fuels, as indicated by a separate study from the University of Exeter and University College London.