With the effects of global warming, the world is in pursuit of finding cleaner and greener energy sources. Today, solar energy is the most popular and widely spread available renewable energy type in the world. It is a source of renewable energy never running out. There are also other sources of renewable energy, like wind and geothermal energy. Biomass (energy from plants and other organic material) and hydropower (the energy from moving or falling water) are more renewable energy sources.
What Is Solar Energy, And How Do We Use It?
Solar energy is the energy harnessed from the sun and converted into electricity. The amount of sunlight striking the earth’s surface in an hour is enough to satisfy the entire world’s energy needs for a whole year.
Solar energy is usually exploited for industrial, commercial and domestic use (generating electricity, heating, providing light). So, solar power uses sunlight creating photovoltaic energy (PV) or concentrating solar power (CSP) for heating.
Solar technologies transform the sun’s energy into electrical energy through solar (PV) panels or mirrors concentrating solar radiation. As a result, we generate electricity or get the energy that can be stored in solar batteries or for thermal usage.
Accordingly, when the sunlight hits the solar panel cells, an electrical charge is created, moving in the cell and causing electricity flow. In such a way, we get photovoltaic power. As for solar thermal energy, thermal systems collect the sun’s energy through the mirror reflection and convert it into heat using liquid (water) or air, thus generating electricity or thermal energy. Many of us do not imagine that it is possible to heat the house or building with solar water heaters. Moreover, it is also manageable to heat your pool with solar thermal energy as pool heating is rather expensive.
Benefits Of Solar Energy
And now, let’s speak about the benefits of solar energy to understand its impact on the environment better. The benefits of going solar are various, both financial and environmental. With solar energy, you can reduce your electricity bills and even earn money by sending the excess energy back to the grid. The low maintenance cost of solar systems is one more reason to get a solar panel system. Modern solar panel companies carry out professional maintenance for your solar system and help you get maximum efficiency from your solar system.
Moreover, solar energy is a free source of renewable energy, and the advantages of the solar system will become more visible in the long-term. So, installing a solar panel system will cost you cheaper in the future than using fossil fuels or coal. However, the environmental advantages of solar energy are far more valuable.
The first and the main benefit of solar power usage is, for sure, air pollution reduction. By creating green and clean renewable energy with your solar panels, you will stop contributing to air pollution and, eventually, global warming. The carbon footprint increases and air pollutants become more by every year, the climate in the world becomes more strict, with sudden warmer and cooler temperatures. So by decreasing emissions and greenhouse gases, we will help the planet to fight against climate change. Moreover, by using electricity generated by solar panels, you will decrease or even eliminate the use of fossil fuels and other energy sources, harming the environment.
Another benefit of solar energy is water usage reduction. Solar panels create power without using water. While hydropower utilizes a lot of water during electricity generation, it often impacts the ecosystem as well.
Solar technologies have evolved since their first appearance. With the world moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy in everyday life, solar electronics are hugely developing and becoming demanded. With traditional solar technologies, researchers are improving the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of solar cells and solar products.
As a result, solar technologies are expanding into new markets. Modern promising solar devices are already changing the world and sometimes even totally transforming the idea of solar energy and the solar industry.
Nowadays, solar power is used with transportation. You can now find solar buses on the streets of China and solar cars in different cities worldwide. In the near future, besides cars, it will become possible to have all subways, planes, buses, railroads and other types of transportation working on solar energy. Hence, solar can become the future of transportation.
Floating solar farms are another outstanding solar achievement in the solar market. They are floating on water dams, reservoirs, and other water locations. The floating solar farms are even more efficient because of the cooling effect of the water. Moreover, you need no land to place them, and there is no water loss as you don’t need to clean them.
Solar Energy Revolution In California
Solar energy usage is rapidly growing in California in recent years, exceeding all other US states. Today, California derives about 14% of its total energy from solar sources. Not only homeowners invest in solar energy but also businesses who tend to attract customers with the solar- and green-conscious approach.
The factors driving this rapid revolution are the following:
- Solar panels have become more efficient and cost-effective than they used to be.
- With solar technologies developing, the price for solar systems continues to fall.
- Solar panels add value to your property.
- Producing your energy makes you energy-independent.
- You can gain money or save by selling your solar energy excess back into the grid.
- There are a lot of federal and state incentive programs making your solar investment more profitable.
- In many locations in California, solar panel system installation is the only available source of energy.
Author of a publication: Irene Abgaryan