Human tries for energy
History provides ample evidence that most innovations were powered by an energy source. From the steam powered locomotives to the modern-day electricity grids, all ideas were realized generally through fossil fuels – that is, natural gas, coal and oil. However, not only these resources are finite in quantity but they impact our environment adversely. This is where the renewable energy comes into the fray. They offer long lasting options for fulfilling our energy needs while having a minimal effect on the environment. Among such sustainable resources, solar power has been at the forefront. To understand its full potential, we will look at some of its major benefits.
Solar is only energy
A basic solar panel system consists of a solar panel made of photovoltaic cells that convert the sunlight into electricity. This is the general approach used for both small setups found in homes and large setups like the solar farms capable of powering cities. Perhaps the greatest benefit of solar energy is that it is clean energy. Still, while its detractors may agree that its environment friendly, they still feel that it is incapable of meeting our needs.
This statement may have some truth but the fact is that the solar energy industry is quickly catching up to the conventional sources. The efficiency of solar panels is improving day by day meaning that each panel is converting more solar energy into electricity. Only recently in Japan, the record for efficiency of mass produced solar panels was broken by improving it to 26.6%. The use of charge controllers in conjunction with solar panels have also ensured efficient storage of solar energy in batteries.
Contentions and costs
There have been instances across the world where, albeit temporarily, solar energy along with other renewable sources became the primary source for the bulk of the energy needs. Moreover, solar energy offers off the grid energy solutions to remote areas which are not easily accessible. This will aid in development of such areas and improve their living standards.
Another thing that has been a bone of contention is the cost of electricity produced by solar panels. Many still believe that it is not a financial sound proposition. The facts, however, tell a different story. Since 2008, cost of photo voltaic cells has fallen by 80%. In India, an emerging market for solar energy, the energy tariffs for solar are Rs.2.44/unit compared to Rs.3.2/unit for coal. It is evident here that the choice of solar energy is not only an environmentally sound decision but a financially viable one as well, as shown by the continuous downward cost trends.
The importance of Solar
The sun is the power source of life itself for our planet. It is the source of energy for the ecosystem that ensures that the cycle of life remains sustainable. Every step that we take towards making solar energy, coupled with other renewable energy sources, the primary energy source for our activities is a step to becoming one with nature. Our existence is hinged on the survival of earth as a viable planet to support life. It is our responsibility to ensure that the protection of earth not only for our own sakes but for the coming generations.