Solar energy is a form of renewable energy which uses sunlight to produce electricity. It uses solar panels to collect sunlight and then convert it to electricity. There are three types of solar panels – the photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), and the solar heating and cooling (SHC). Solar energy has the potential to be harnessed all around the world, at varying levels depending on the proximity to the equator.
The use of solar energy to produce electricity is a relatively new in Australia. However, the possibilities of making it more accessible for households are increasing every day. The Australian Government has a research program which supports the development and enhancement of technology which uses renewable energy in Australia. More and more homes are using solar energy. As at 1 November 2016, there were 1.6 million solar panel systems installed across the country.
Solar energy vs. Fossil energy
The main source of energy around the world is fossil fuels. However, there are a number of disadvantages in using fossil fuels, like the environmental hazards and the health risks from continued exposure to pollution. Also, the fact that fossil fuels are not renewable and may be consumed fully is another compelling reason why we need to turn to alternative energy sources. Nowadays, there is a need to turn to renewable energy especially to solar energy. Solar energy may be our answer to a sustainable future.
Why is solar power the future?
Solar energy has endless potential.
Australia has a great potential for solar energy. It is said that it Australia has the highest average solar radiation per square metre among all the continents. With its dry climate and the large amount of available sunlight, Australia has untapped potential for solar energy to power households and industries. The sun is a free and abundant source that is available almost everywhere in the world. It is a reliable source of energy because solar output can be forecasted, making it easy to adjust how it can be harnessed and used. The emerging technology makes it possible for us to eliminate the use of traditional energy and use renewable energy instead to store and produce energy that is enough to power households and industries.
Solar energy is environment-friendly.
Global warming is a pressing crisis that is escalating at an alarming rate. Traditional sources of electricity like fossil fuels are harmful to the environment. The drilling, extracting, and burning of fossil fuels produces greenhouse gases that are detrimental to the Earth’s atmosphere. The impact of using fossil fuels as energy source has a negative effect on almost every aspect of our lives which is why we need to turn to renewable energy for alternative sources of electricity. Solar energy is a great alternative source because solar panels do not emit greenhouse gases. The widespread and growing use of solar energy may eventually save our environment from further damage.
Solar energy is efficient.
Using solar panels can save you money in the long run. You may need to invest in its installation but solar panels can actually give you free energy for 20 to 25 years. You may need to invest some money in buying and installing solar panels. However, once you have your solar panels installed, you can create your own electricity and lessen your electric bill. Also, once you’ve installed your solar panels, minimum maintenance is required. Aside from these benefits, the development in lithium-ion batteries and their capacity will enable energy storage even when there is no sunlight.