By John Addison | 22 March 2011, 13:23 BST
"In 88 minutes, the sun provides 470 exajoules of energy, as much energy as humanity consumes in a year." In Scientific American, Ramez Naam adds, "In 112 hours - less than five days - it provides 36 zettajoules of energy - as much energy as is contained in all proven reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas on this planet."
We have no shortage of energy. Fortunately, we are increasingly producing and delivering more renewable energy at lower cost. At the same time we are more efficient about using energy for everything from lighting, to buildings, to transportation. Most promising is the trend to make energy cheap when plentiful, more expensive at peak, and use intelligent energy management to level the use. The grid is starting to get smart.
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