Solar Energy

Artz, Sophie | from Multimedia Library Collection:
Art & Graphics

Existing energy systems need to be less dependent on carbon-based energy sources such as biomass, coal, oil, and gas, and should slowly be replaced by sources with low to zero carbon dioxide emissions such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. It is also crucial to develop technologies that consume less energy. The investments required to do so can be gained by reducing the costs spent on fossil fuels. In addition, the transformation will open up new markets, which will in turn create new jobs and help stimulate the economy. The technology to achieve energy change is already here. Germany has set a good example for this movement, but climate change is a global problem that we all must solve together.

Solar cooker
Sophie Artz

Orbiter 3: Solar energy

Text and images by Sophie Artz
University of the Arts (UdK), Berlin

Bertrand Piccard was the first person to attempt to fly around the world in a hot air balloon.


He only had enough gas to reach Egypt. This gave him cause to think.


“I can’t offer you gas, but I can make you a cup of tea!”
The energy from the sun that reaches Earth is 5,000 times more than is required by humanity each year.


“Even at night I can make the sun shine!”
We need to become independent of fossil fuels.


Piccard developed an airplane that could fly day or night using only solar power.


With solar energy, our future could look a lot different.


Even in the most remote places, people could supply themselves with electricity.


“We just need to change our habits!”
We have to change how we think, because fossil fuels need to become a thing of the past.


Artist’s comment:

I was familiar with solar energy prior to this project. But I didn’t know that the sun’s power is so great that it could power the entire planet or make airplanes fly. It is possible, in theory. However, as long as there are people earning millions from fossile fuels, the development of this promising technology is impeded. 

How to cite

Artz, Sophie. “Solar Energy.” Environment & Society Portal, Multimedia Library, 2014.

The comic also appears in Alexandra Hamann, Reinhold Leinfelder, Helmuth Trischler, and Henning Wagenbreth, eds., Anthropozän – 30 Meilensteine auf dem Weg in ein neues Erdzeitalter. Eine Comic-Anthologie (Munich: Deutsches Museum, 2014).

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