02/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Solar Energy Reality Check

Solar energy is the most promising source of clean, renewable energy. It is also one of the most misunderstood.

Myths about solar energy--its challenges and potential--keep many from seriously considering the large-scale promise of solar to solve the energy crisis.

First, let's define energy crisis. The global demand for energy continues to grow. In 2005, electric power plants produced 17,000 terawatt-hours; by 2030, global projections nearly double to 33,000 terawatt-hours. For perspective, a single terawatt-hour can power about 90,600 homes for an entire year. It takes 15 terawatt-hours to power Chicago each year.

This means we need to ramp up quickly, efficiently, in the next two decades if the world's electrical needs are to be met. Solar is poised to do this, we just need to debunk the myths about this energy source, myths that are slowing us down.

We're going to address some of those myths, right here and now, so we can focus on solving the problem.

Solar Energy Reality Check: Debunking The Myths