How can a private citizen feel directly involved in the energy transition effort?
According to energy engineers at the University of Cork, the world’s rooftops could house enough solar modules to cover more than the entire global electricity demand read the study here.
In the world there are 20,000 square kilometres of roofs available, and if we calculate their orientation, shading and average irradiation, they could host a solar power of ~20TW (20,000GW), which corresponds to 27,000TWh of electricity.
To get an order of magnitude on the figures we are talking about, just consider that in 2017 the world needed 25,000TWh. So the PV theoretically installable on roofs alone would be more than enough to replace all coal, gas, hydro, nuclear, wind etc. power plants.
Clearly this is only theoretical, the calculation was made on the basis of a satellite survey, which does not take into account the fact that some roofs cannot be occupied, but the numbers are still impressive.
So when I say that each of us can do something, I do not mean it rhetorically, every small change, every new system installed brings us closer to the goal.
Small rooftop systems are also the ones that go best with storage and optimisation of consumption.
In conclusion, if you have installed a photovoltaic system on your roof, know that it is not only you who benefit, but you are part of a network of people who are actively acting for the protection of the environment and the resilience of the whole system.