Mahajunga, Madagascar. Circa 200 million years old Solar Energy
All energy is essentially solar energy, it just depends on how much processing it has been through. Solar panels convert the sun's solar rays into electrical energy instantaneously. Burning wood in order to create electricity is reliant on waiting for trees to convert solar energy into organic combustible wood through photosynthesis over a number of decades; whereas coal and oil represent that same organic matter formed over millenniums, like this fossilised wood. Nuclear power is arguably the furthest from the direct conversion of solar power into combustible material. However, nuclear power stations rely on the same steam turbines invented to harness electricity from coal and oil, and so is not as foreign to the suns energy as we might imagine. All of these facts point to two startling observations: firstly that a large part of humanity has taken a strategy of 'highly organised arson' to source the energy they have required to power their development thus far, and secondly that despite its glaringly obvious presence in our lives and existence, we have essentially only used the sun as a glorified light bulb to distinguish night from day. The sun delivers about 7,000 times more energy than we currently consume globally, but we cannot simply cover the surface of the Earth in solar panels to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.
History itself has realised a means to translate solar energy harvest into accessible forms of energy release through wood, coal and oil. We now need to find ever more creative and efficient means to accelerate these same metaphorical processing cycles through solar technology. So that like Olafur Eliasson Little Sun accompanying this fossilised wood we all might carry 'power stations in our pocket' and have a sustainable means to easily harvest, store and release the sun's light.