I spotted an interesting post from New Scientist today, entitled “Himalayas could become the Saudi Arabia of solar”. Apparently the combination of generally clear skies, high altitude and low temperature make such mountain ranges ideal places for arrays of solar panels. Clear skies give more sun exposure; high altitude reduces the loss of solar energy through passing through the atmosphere; low temperature allows more efficient operation.
Critics might counter that these locations are inhospitable and remote but the same could be said of deserts and other locations from which we have been in the habit of extracting oil. I am currently reading an economics book, “Why Your World is About To Get a Whole Lot Smaller” by Jeff Rubin, which suggests that unprecedented high oil prices are undermining and and will soon radically change present patterns of how global trade and local economies work. I am not sure how well-developed the idea of mountain-side panel arrays is but we will need working schemes of this nature to maintain even a part of the cheap energy we have come to rely on.