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close this bookCase for Solar Energy Investments (World Bank, 1996)
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View the documentAbundance of the solar resource
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Open this folder and view contentsA solar initiate
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Abundance of the solar resource

Each year, the earth receives an energy input from the sun equal to 15,000 times the world's commercial energy consumption and more than 100 times the world's proven coal, gas, and oil reserves. Modern solar electric schemes, such as the photovoltaic and solar-thermal power stations in California, today are capable of converting 7 to 15 percent - with further development, 15 to 30 percent - of the incident energy into a form useful for consumption, and in theory would need less than 1 percent of the world's land area to meet all its commercial energy needs.