Solar Energy Facts – The Present And The Future

What do solar energy facts reveal about its future potential?

Given the problems with the use of non-renewable energy sources in today’s world, it is becoming increasing desirable, and necessary, for mankind to turn toward renewable energy as a main power source.

And solar power energy is one of these renewable energy sources – it is almost free (you just need to harvest the energy and convert it into a useful form), non-polluting and never ending (since they are constantly being replenished).

There are several solar energy facts most people don’t know about. It is possible that the media isn’t giving enough attention to the matter. At the same time, we are probably not giving the matter sufficient thought. Because the sun is so ever present in our lives, we have taken it for granted, and it has become almost invisible.

Most people seem to forget, or don’t know, that whether we use solar panels or not, the Sun is still our planet’s main source of energy.

The energy from the food we eat actually comes from the sun. Our vegetables, grains and fruit plants make use of the energy from the sun through the process of photosynthesis to make food and grow. The farm animals that eat grass, grains and other plants gain access to the sun’s solar energy indirectly through the plants they eat. In the same way, we also gain access to the sun’s energy indirectly through the vegetables and meat that we consume. But that is not all on how the sun provides for our energy needs.

Even the energy stored in fossil fuels like petroleum comes from the sun. The solar energy had been converted to the carbon compound that forms the fossil fuels millions of years ago. Such solar energy facts are often forgotten.

Solar energy facts reveal that the energy coming from the sun is very much in abundance. The sun deposits approximately 1,368 watts of energy per square meter of space, but only one fourth of this power is retained by the Earth’s atmosphere.

However, the main problem with the use of solar energy has always been the difficulty in efficiently converting the sunbeams into sufficient energy to power up homes, buildings and businesses.

But this situation is changing. With the advances in solar energy technology in the last 30 years, solar energy is becoming a serious contender and alternative to the burning of fossil fuels.

In 1930, a photo cell could transform less than 1% of solar energy into electricity. Today, organic photovoltaics can transform 8.3%, inorganic photovoltaics 21.6% and concentrated photovoltaics 41.4% of solar energy into electricity. With the advances of technology, these percentages can only be expected to grow. Read about the current state of solar energy efficiency.

In fact, green energy scientists are constantly exploring for ways to increase solar energy efficiency and to tap on the advantages of solar energy. In recent times, solar energy facts reveal that developments are made to increase the efficiency of solar cells by harvesting the wasted heat in unused sunlight, through a process known as Photon Enhanced Thermionic Emission, or PETE.

So it is not surprising when solar energy facts reveal that the contributions of solar energy to the world’s energy supply has been increasing over the years. In 2007, solar energy alone generated 7.6 GW of energy. In 2008, this number climbed to 13.5GWe and in 2009 the number was of 21 GW. In only three years, solar energy output tripled. Read about the advantages of solar energy.

The potential for solar energy, and the other forms of renewable energies, are so promising that in 2009, two scientists named Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi proposed a plan to have 100% of global energy supply come from renewable energies by the 2030.

It might be an ambitious plan; we are unlikely to be able to implement the plan by 2030. But it may only be a matter of time until solar and renewable energies become a major source of energy. Let’s hope it happens fast enough, before it is too late.

Read related articles on solar energy facts:

Return to page on Alternative Forms Of Energy from this page on Solar Energy Facts – The Present And The Future

Return to Eco Green Living and All Recycling Facts Homepage from this page on Solar Energy Facts – The Present And The Future

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