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Solar Energy: Power-Packed Facts
Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, using photovoltaics (PV), and concentrated solar power (CSP). In layman’s terms? Solar power is energy that comes from the sun!
Solar energy is comprised of radiant light and heat from the sun, and has been harnessed by humans since ancient times via ever-evolving methodologies. There are various methods of solar energy conservation, including solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity and solar architecture. According to Wikipedia, “[these] methods can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent problems the world now faces.”
We currently just use the sun for 0.01 per cent of our electrical needs. Despite the advances in solar power technology, it still costs five times as much to produce electricity from solar panels versus dirty coal and gas and nuclear sources. On a lighter note, it is likely that the increase of energy prices can lead to an increase of solar power alternatives.
Did You Know? Solar Energy in Numbers
Solar and wind power systems have 100 times better lifetime energy yield than nuclear and fossil energy systems, per ton of mined materials, and it would only take 0.3 per cent of the world’s land area to supply all of our electricity needs via solar power.
Earth receives more energy from the sun in an hour than is used in the entire world in one year! The average solar panel size needed to power the average home is 600 square feet, and $55,000 is the average cost of installing a 600 square-foot solar system.
0.7 per cent is the solar energy share of global energy consumption, and 102 percent is the average annual growth rate of global solar energy capacity. Additionally, 75 million barrels of oil are saved annually by all solar energy users and 35 million tons of carbon dioxide are saved annually by all solar energy users!
**The solar industry creates 200 to 400 jobs in research, development, manufacturing and installation for every 10 megawatts of solar power generated annually. If you wish to make a long-term, ecological difference, consider a career in environmental science. You can learn more about the types of environmental degrees available online at http://www.distancelearning.org!**