It is no secret that the world today relies heavily on non-renewable energy sources like coal and natural gas for a lot of activities. In addition, the constant reliance on these energy sources has produced several dire effects on the environment. As the world-wide supply for these materials are dwindling with every year, there is the increasing demand for energy that is renewable, safe to use, and clean.
As of these times, solar power has taken the stage and is often considered by scientist, politicians and even the media as one of the more effective yet eco-friendly energy sources out there. Below are several facts that you need to know about solar power and the industry.
One of the biggest features with solar power is that it is one of the most abundant forms of energy in the known universe. In one hour, the sun can continuously strike the earth with at least 173,000 terawatts of light. When completely absorbed, the electricity created from a single hour of sunlight can power every electrical device, generator and grid on the earth for an entire year.
In fact, the sun can create power 100,000 times the world’s total energy consumption for a yearly basis. For this reason alone, many environmentalists have speculated that if every grid in every nation switched their reliance from non-renewable energy sources to solar power within a decade, the world’s energy crisis and pollution problems could be solved within mere months.
2. Power in Many Forms
One known fact with solar power is that the energy being produced by the sun will be here to stay and will remain constant for at least several billion years. Unlike fossil fuel, solar power is showing no signs of diminishing and is still capable of providing light energy across the solar system.
Also, solar power is the driving force behind other renewable energy sources in the world right now. The sun’s heat can drive the winds which can power the turbines in wind energy systems. Also, the sun’s heat can cause the evaporation cycle of the earth’s waters which, in turn, makes hydroelectricity possible. Also, the sun plays an essential part in the photosynthesis of plants which in turn also plays an important role in creating bio-energy. In short, the sun is the source of multiple infinite energy sources on the planet.
3. No Emissions
The conversion process of light energy to electricity produces almost zero harmful side effects for the environment. Unlike conventional power plants, a solar array in use emit no greenhouse gases or toxins which, when let out in to the environment, can cause severe damage to the surroundings. In fact, there has yet to be a reported case of greenhouse gases being emitted from solar power system to date.
Due to this inability to release harmful bi-products, several machines are now designed to run solely on solar power. Some automobile manufacturers have added solar panels to their electric cars to lessen their carbon emissions. There is also the fact that Solar-powered airplanes like the Solar Impulse are making their trip across several countries. Given the fact that tremendous energy is required to keep a plane up in the air, the use of solar energy to power these machines is quite an achievement.
4. No Risks
Producing electricity via solar panels is one of the safest ways to generate power. Unlike conventional power plants, risks like fire, explosions and even nuclear fallout are non-existent in solar arrays. The key to this safety lies in the solar cells which are merely thin sheets of a crystalline material which absorb light, convert it to electricity, and then distribute said energy to a series of wires that leads to several power outlets. In essence, risks are minimal since the process is equally easy and minimal in nature.
5. Room for Improvement
Despite its major advantages, there is no denying that solar power technology has still a long way to go before becoming an efficient source of energy. Fortunately, a lot of researchers and scientists are finding ways to make the system all the more reliable. In the coming years, it is to be expected that society will enjoy this power that is clean, infinite, and most of all, open for all.