solar energy facts

Solar Energy Facts

  1. It’s an Exhaustible Energy Source – the source of all solar energy, the sun, is expected to survive for another 5 billion years, so the energy it generates is essentially infinite. A mere hour of sunshine received on Earth is enough to supply us with an entire year’s worth of energy. Of course, we currently only absorb a tiny fraction of this total energy.
  2. It’s Safe – Solar Energy is a form of renewable energy which, unlike fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, has a clean production process that poses zero risk to personnel and the surrounding environment. With solar energy, there is no chance of a catastrophic event occurring such as an oil spill, a coal fire or a gas explosion.
  3. There Are Many Incentives – whether it’s being used for residential or commercial purposes, solar systems are cheap to run and maintain. Solar panels aren’t mechanical, so they don’t have any moving parts, which makes them reliable and long lasting. Solar units are powered entirely by the solar energy they absorb and convert to solar power, meaning that energy production is totally free. What’s more, governments will typically offer rebates for those who use solar energy, in the form of ‘credits’ which are then deducted from the total costs of your electricity bills. Also, with constantly evolving technology, the efficiency of solar systems are improving all the time.
  4. Much Better for The Environment – solar energy is clean energy, so there are no harmful emissions ejected into the atmosphere. The only exception to this is when your solar inverter and solar panels are manufactured. Once they’ve been installed and are in operation however, no further harm is down to our precious environment. This is in stark contrast to energy generated from fossil fuels, where coal plants for example, produce enormous amounts of hazardous carbon emissions, greatly contributing to global warming.
  5. No Noise Pollution – not only does solar power not pollute our atmosphere, it doesn’t pollute our ears, either. Solar power generation via solar panels is whisper quiet.
  6. It Can Be Accessed Anywhere – there are many people around the world that don’t have access to an electrical grid, but solar energy is available in every corner of the globe, which means access to continuous, clean energy. Solar power is therefore a hugely attractive option for developing countries.
  7. It Can Be Readily Converted to Solar Power – in simplest terms, our sun emits light (solar energy) which solar panels absorb to generate DC electricity. This is then converted to AC electricity using a solar inverter, which can then be used to power household appliances. For a more comprehensive explanation, please refer to our how do solar panels work guide.
  8. It Can Even Power Aircraft – solar energy can be used to power all manner of vehicles, including cars, buses, trains and even aircraft (manned and unmanned). Solar technology is widely used in satellites and space stations, having first been utilised on the Vanguard 1 satellite by the US back in 1958.
  9. Civilisations Have Been Using Solar Energy for Thousands of Years – the citizens of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, as well as Native Americans, all harnessed solar energy by incorporating it into their home designs in various ways.
  10. It’s an Important Source of Vitamin D – whilst excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays is indeed dangerous, brief exposure is sufficient enough for our bodies to generate vitamin D, a hormone that controls the level of calcium in our blood. Calcium is important for our muscles, bones and general vitality.
  11. China Leads the Way – China is a world leader when it comes to solar power installations, with 2016 seeing almost 35,000 systems installed during the calendar year, more than double the total of the previous year.
  12. The World’s Largest Solar Power Plant – the world’s largest solar power plant is located in southern India, covering some 10,000 square metres and producing almost 650 Mega Watts. When construction is completed, India will also lay claim to the world’s largest floating solar plant, as well, where the gigantic platform will house almost 2,000 solar panels.
  13. A New Technology is Born – the photovoltaic cell (solar cell), which forms the basis of present day solar power technology, was first built by French physicist Edmond Becquerel back in 1839. It would be over 100 years later before a practical version of the solar cell was unveiled by two inventors, Calvin Souther Fuller and Gerald Pearson in 1954, when working at Bell Laboratories.
  14. It’s Responsible for All Plant Life – without solar energy, photosynthesis would not occur. Plants convert solar energy into chemical energy and through the process of photosynthesis, oxygen and carbohydrates are produced; the building blocks of organic life.
  15. It Can Purify Water – solar energy can purify water through the process of solar distillation. This involves the evaporation of water and the collection of the resulting condensate. Solar distillation is a more energy efficient method of water purification.
  16. Energy at The Speed of Light – our Sun is located some 150 million kilometres from the Earth, taking approximately 8 minutes for a ray of sunlight travelling at the speed of light to reach us.
  17. Solar Panels Don’t Require Direct Sunlight – solar panels don’t actually require sunlight to make direct contact in order to generate electricity, but not surprisingly, it’s far less efficient.
  18. Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels – According to an article by ABC, solar energy is now more affordable than fossil fuels, after dropping almost 60% in the past several years.
  19. Cheaper in The Long Run – whilst solar installations can still prove to be somewhat pricey to begin with, the money saved by using the electricity generated by it, coupled with the various rebates and credit incentives offered by governments, ensures that the system pays for itself in a matter of years. People living in climates that enjoy plenty of year-round sunshine can expect the system to recuperate its original costs sooner. Attractive finance options are also available, so customers aren’t required to pay the entire sum up front.
  20. Substantial Warranties – new solar panels typically carry a 25 year warranty, indicative of the quality of the technology as a whole, as much as the individual products themselves.

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