Solar power is becoming the jewel in the crown of energy production and for good reason. This renewable resource is just one of many options that also includes geothermal, hydro, wind and biofuels.
India made headlines in 2015 when leaders in the country chose to install solar panels in some unique locations. Solar plants were installed along the top of canals to capture the sun’s energy and turn it into a renewable commodity. The unique location for the panels was chosen because less land would be eaten up by the panels as the tops of canals represented a space not being used, and in turn the panels would help lessen evaporation of the valuable resource flowing through the waterway.
Fast forward to 2019 and the growth in solar energy production isn’t slowing down. China is the largest user of solar power — but also wins the award for manufacturing the most solar panels. Japan and Germany follow in spots two and three for solar power production with the United States sitting a tidy fourth.
That’s partly because of how environmentally friendly solar power is to Mother Earth. The renewable resource produces no greenhouse gas emissions. Its downsides are few but do include the process to manufacture photovoltaics (PV) uses some materials considered hazardous and large tracts of land can be eaten up in order to house projects large enough to produce an economically-viable amount of solar power.
So how does it compare to what has been called by some as “dirty oil”? Fossil Fuels still play a huge role in powering the planet due mainly to the stability of production. Solar energy can be fickle — no sunshine, not as much power being produced . Also it can be hard to find suitable locations to put up fields of solar panels, or the right rooftops to make projects viable.
The good news is technology is advancing quickly. Newer solar systems that produce more power and have the advantage of taking up smaller footprints are available. As the technology improves, the costs of these systems declines, making them more affordable to average consumers. When more people choose solar, it becomes a more socially-acceptable option, increasing its popularity.
It’s worth taking the time to ask a few questions and find out more from your local solar PV system supplier about how you can benefit from the sunshine and maybe even power up your own home.
- Energy Sage. “Solar electricity vs. fossil fuels: how do they compare?” 14 November. 2018. Web. https://news.energysage.com/solar-energy-vs-fossil-fuels/
- Wikipedia. “Canal Solar Power Project” 16 August. 2018. Web. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canal_Solar_Power_Project
- Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions. “Renewable Energy” Web. https://www.c2es.org/content/renewable-energy/