10 Reasons to Start Investing in Solar Energy
The sun is our greatest resource of energy. In fact, the intensity of solar radiation its so strong that in 1 hour of insolation the sun radiates more energy than what we consume in an entire year. Do you find that hard to believe? Let us help explain it to you.
Every year our planet receives 174 petawatts (PW) of solar radiation in the upper atmosphere. From this amount, almost 30% is reflected back to space. Clouds, oceans and land masses absorb the other 70% – the equivalent to 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ). Although this energy contributes to raising of Earth’s temperature, there’s a great potential if we harness the energy to supply our needs. To put that into perspective, the world consumed 474 EJ in 2008 – which is only about 0.012% of the annual energy received on Earth!
Now, you are certainly wondering how big is the potential of solar power. Take a look at the potential of solar energy when compared with other sources of energy:
Don’t you worry: we will present a list of the 10 reasons for why you should be investing in solar energy.
List of 10 reasons to start investing in solar energy
Reason #1: A square meter = 340 watts
Are you ready to understand why you and your family should invest in solar energy? On average, the Earth receives about 340 watts of solar energy per square meter. The rest of the energy is reflected back into the atmosphere. Even so, if we could harness all the radiated energy, we could live with sustainability using only the electricity generated from the Sun. Just to put this into perspective, India receives more almost 5 times this energy per square meter on average.
Reason #2: Solar energy it’s endless
Solar energy is the largest source of energy available. Unlike gas and oil, the sun is inexhaustible. The energy produced in an hour surpasses what the world’s population consumes in a year. Let us also remind ourselves that the same fossil fuels we are so dependent on now are also produced thanks to the sun. Without the sun, we have nothing.
Reason #3: A shiny growth
Since 1998, the electricity generated by the sun has doubled every two years. In fact, the solar power production capacity grew to 13.4 gigawatts in 2008. Germany and Spain are among the top producers of solar energy and account for over 75% of production. In 2013, global solar capacity was about 137 GW. This proves solar market’s growth potential.
Reason #4: One plant to supply 140 thousand houses
The largest solar thermal plant in the world is currently in California, in the Mojave Desert. The Ivanpah system can produce 389 megawatts of energy, enough to supply more than 140,000 homes with electricity. The energy is clean and efficient, proving that it’s possible to live using solar energy. You can know more about Ivanpah solar plant in this ARTICLE.
Reason #5: The Sun will shine brighter in 2050
According to a research carried out by the German Aerospace Center, the Desertec project, a project announced in 2013, promises to increase solar electricity production to 470 gigawatts by 2050. The project will involve the installation of a massive solar thermal array in the deserts of North Africa. Desertec project will generate enough energy to supply cities in North Africa, Middle East and Europe put together.
Reason #6: How much space do we need to supply the entire world?
If we maintain the same level of energy consumption, which is around 18,000 terawatt-hours per year, the space we would need to produce solar power would be incredibly low. Covering 0.003% of the surface with power plants should be enough to supply the whole planet. How much it is 0.003%? The equivalent to the area occupied by France.
Reason #7: Fossil fuels
Solar energy radiated to earth in one year is twice the amount of the energy that we can produce with the fossil and nuclear resources that we currently have in 2014. Proof that the Sun is our greatest energy resource.
Reason #8: One second of sunlight = 100 watt bulbs
Every second, planet Earth receives the same amount of energy that 4 million 100 watt bulbs use. What does this mean? The answer is simple: five minutes of sunlight should be enough to guarantee lighting around the world for over a year.
Reason #9: Oil and Sun
The solar energy reaching 1 square meter in 1 year is equivalent to 4 million barrels of oil. Can you imagine a world where your car engine works on sunlight? It would be cheap, ecological and super efficient.
Reason #10: Solar energy is cheap
Some people accept the potential of solar energy but say there is one big obstacle: it is expensive – link interno. Reality however if that solar is no longer expensive. Why? Technology improvements and policies promoting research, development, and installation of solar have resulted in tremendous drops in the cost of solar power over the past several years. Crystalline silicon solar cell prices have fallen from $76.67/Watt in 1977 to an estimated $0.74/Watt in 2013.
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