What is solar energy? If you watch the news, read newspapers, or listen to the radio, you’ve probably heard a lot about solar energy in the past 5-10 years, and you might be wondering what it’s all about. In this article, we’ll answer the questions ‘What is solar energy?’ and ‘What is the best way to use it?’ explaining the why and how of solar power in an easy to understand way. Solar power is perhaps the best renewable energy source available right now, as well as being the oldest source of energy known to man. Read through some of the solar energy facts below to find out more about this important subject.
First things first: what is solar energy?
Solar energy is energy, in the form of heat and light, produced by the sun. Each day the chemical reactions of the sun produce a lot of energy, and this energy is radiated outwards to the planets which surround it. The Earth receives a lot of this energy. Important solar energy facts, such as the fact that the earth receives 3.85 million exajoules of energy from the sun in a year, show just how much solar energy comes our way. By way of comparison, you could power New York City on much less than .1% of this number. Other interesting solar energy facts that will help you understand just how much energy the sun produces include this one: all of the plants on the earth absorb just 3,000 exajoules of energy from the sun. That’s less than .1% of the solar energy which reaches the earth.
Every plant and animal on the Earth makes use of solar energy in some way, whether it’s to power photosynthesis or just to stay warm, so asking ‘what is solar energy’ is like asking ‘what is life’. Each day, your body absorbs solar energy, which helps keep your body temperature steady. Unfortunately, when it comes to tasks like cooking, heating, and powering our technology, humans don’t make much use of solar energy. Solar energy has limitless uses, and is already being used to create electrical power on a large scale, to heat individual homes, to disinfect water, to cook, to keep foods and medicine refrigerated, and to power cars and boats.
What is solar energy capable of doing for your home?
That depends on how much of a solar power system you want to install. The technology is available to make your home run entirely on solar power, from your heating and cooling systems to your computer. A set of solar panels installed on your roof and connected to batteries in your attic or basement can provide you with all of the energy you need to enjoy your day-to-day life, a great example to look into are VerengoSolar.com panels. We’ve all seen solar panels on homes and businesses, and one of the most striking solar energy facts is that it can efficiently provide all or part of a home’s power. Using storage devices (batteries), you can reserve power from day to day and even, in many cases, sell solar power back to the electric company.
What is solar energy capable of doing for your business?
Many of the same things it can do for your home: power your computers, heat your hallways, and ventilate your stairwells. Depending on the size of your commercial space and the investment you’re able to make up front, solar energy can even be a cost-effective power solution in the long term. When people think about solar energy facts, they usually only consider the ‘hard’ facts (how many kilowatts of energy at what price), but when it comes to commercial solar energy, you should consider the ‘soft’ facts as well. How will your customers respond to your solar power conversion? Can you gain green building certification and market yourself as a green business? Making the switch to solar energy can mean more than just lower fuel costs: it can mean a larger customer base.
What is solar energy capable of doing for industry?
Things get a little more complicated here, because a very large solar energy system would be needed to power the average factory of industrial space. It’s possible for independent solar energy to meet a large portion of a factory’s needs without being too expensive, but when we talk about industrial solar energy, we really mean large-scale energy production. Solar power generators in the U.S., Spain, Australia, France, and other nations are tied into the energy grid and help provide electricity for industrial, commercial, and residential uses. Spain has the largest system, with large solar energy plants dotting the landscape of southern Spain and soaking up the sun’s energy. Industry is the biggest consumer of fossil fuels worldwide, so funding large-scale solar power generation is a great way to reduce pollution.
What is solar energy capable of doing for the developing world?
Solar energy provides a portable source of energy which can be used for specific tasks in rural regions not linked to the grid. It has been successfully used to cook food, warm houses, disinfect and desalinate water, and power small medical operations. Solar power facts tend to show that solar power is more expensive than fossil fuel, but it is also more portable and versatile. Because much of the developing world has not yet become addicted to fossil fuels, it’s possible that, with funding from the advanced nations, a large-scale solar power grid can be constructed. This would help reduce global pollution.
What Is Solar Energy – Summary
As you can see, solar energy is a potential solution to many of the world’s problems, as well as a sustainable and renewable source of energy. Solar energy facts like those outlined above make it clear how great the potential is for development of solar energy resources, and how much mankind could benefit from further solar energy development. Luckily, solar energy can be produced on a small scale; so all it takes for you to join the solar power revolution is purchasing a solar power system for your home or business. Solar power is effective, efficient, and environmentally sound, so what are you waiting for? Join the revolution today armed with the answer to the question – What is solar energy?.