The future of electricity generation

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is the energy derived from renewable or natural sources such as the wind, waves, geothermal heat etc. It includes geothermal energy, wave power, tidal power and solar power. All these energy sources are environmentally friendly and help reduce the carbon foot prints left by man due to the consumption of fossils fuels and their carbon emissions. Renewable energy has the potential to meet a huge portion of our energy demands, but so far its development has been constrained by a combination of technological difficulties and a lack of infrastructure for delivery systems. While some forms of renewable energy such as solar energy are cost effective as compared to other renewable energy sources, challenges still remain to make major forms of renewable energy a more affordable option.

What is solar energy?

Solar energy is a form of renewable energy which is attained from the sun. Solar energy is the radiant energy of the sun, and this has the potential to be converted into other forms of energy with the help of specialized equipment called Photo Voltaic panels. Solar energy can be converted into heat and electrical energy as well. Not only this, but solar energy can also be stored, radiated, converted in to other energy forms and reflected.

Solar energy utilized since ancient times:

Since the ancient times, solar energy has been used by man in many ways. Prosperous civilizations during the ancient times knew how to utilize the rays of the suns for their maximum benefits. The most noted civilizations who used solar energy were the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Indians and The Mayans. These nations were known to construct buildings in such a way that they could use the rays of the sun to light up rooms to the maximum level, and utilize the heat of the sun to keep rooms warm. Solar energy was used by them in various ways to improve their standard of living and they considered the sun as a source of tremendous power. They used sunlight in many ways and they took full advantage of it. They used sun light to make sun clocks and sun dials so that they could tell time, they even used the sun’s rays to heat water, to cook and to preserve food like spices, chilies, beef and fish.

How do PV panels generate electricity?

Solar energy can be converted into electrical energy with the help of PV panels. These photo voltaic panels are able to convert solar energy into emission free, green electrical energy with the help of photo voltaic material present in the photo voltaic, or solar cells. Photovoltaic material can be made of copper, silicone or alloys of these materials and solar cells can generate current electricity from sunlight due to the photo diode effect. These solar panels can act as secondary sources of electricity or even as the main power supply when they are fitted to vehicles, homes and even industries. Solar energy is a form of renewable energy that can provide electricity emission free. Like wave power, wind energy and geothermal energy, solar energy also has a renewable source, which is the sun.

Advantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy is completely environmentally friendly, where as energy obtained from fossil fuels has a devastating effect on the environment. In order to utilize solar energy, installation of PV panels is required. PV panels actually don’t require much maintenance after being installed and are quite hassle free as well. PV panels are budget friendly too. Here are some of the main advantages of solar energy:

The most cost effective form of renewable energy:

As the sun’s rays are easily obtainable and free for all, solar energy is actually the most cost effective form of renewable energy. It does not cost anything to capture the sun’s rays, and a simple one time investment of installing PV panels is all that is required. This makes solar energy the cheapest form of renewable energy available on earth.

Never ending supply:

The Sun has been here since the dawn of mankind and will stay there till the end of life, which makes it a never ending source of power supply. Even during rainy and cloudy days solar energy can be saved in solar cells which can later be utilized to power up various appliances for several hours.

Emission free source of electricity:

Solar energy is a renewable from of energy, and it is completely emission free. Being completely natural and non carbon related, it does not release carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Therefore it can help reduce the enormous amounts of pollution that man has caused to fill in the earth’s atmosphere. Solar energy does not utilize fossil fuels and in return does not have any dangerous effects on the earth, and does not deplete the earth of its precious fossil fuels.

Easy setup and maintenance free equipment:

The installation of the equipment that utilizes solar energy in order to generate electricity is not difficult at all. PV panels are usually a onetime installation, and most of the companies that are supplying PV panels provide their consumers a 5-10 year warranty. PV panels usually don’t even need much maintenance as well. PV panels can be built of all sizes and can be fitted in appliances as small as a calculator and even on huge industrial scales as well.