The future of solar energy

The energy crisis has been a focal point of government attention across the globe and a lot of time, money and effort has been invested in addressing this concern. With the ever growing population, alarming rate of pollution and global warming looming over mankind’s head, there is more a pressing need to device alternate renewable forms of energy, than ever before. In the backdrop of growing demand, the natural resources of coal, oil and minerals are fast depleting. Technology having taken over human lives and more and more energy sources are required to meet even the fundamental needs of the human race. Unfortunately, due to lack of vision and an overall sense of arrogance and ignorance, the world is behind the clock by an hour or two, in reaching out to one and all to facilitate the newest trends in energy utilization. As the economically superior racing ahead in harnessing alternate energy forms, the other unprivileged ones are still struggling to make both ends meet with limited supply of resources. The widening rift between the rich and the poor will ultimately lead to war over survival.

The future of a sustained survival lies in extending alternate energy forms, like using solar panels, to every nook and cranny of the world. The traditional energy forms emit carbon in the atmosphere to such an extent that the average temperature of the world is rising beyond the level of correction. The alternate energy solutions like that of wind, biomass, hydroelectricity and solar power can provide equivalent amount of energy, however with no or minimal emission of carbon. Use of solar cells and panels in household and industry, alike, has seen an upward trend in the recent years. Governments are pushing for this energy form and promoting enterprises and citizens to buy solar powered devices.

Solar power – the alternate energy

Solar power, in particular, is an energy form that needs to be utilized to the maximum. The rays of the sun that reach the earth can be transformed into electricity that can light up houses and drive cars. These photovoltaic cells absorb the sun rays, even on a cloudy day, and create electric field across it layers. Groups of such solar cells are mounted together to form panels and placed usually on the rooftops of the buildings. This technology not only enables consumers and industries to cut down on their electricity bills, but also in an attempt to reduce carbon footprint, governments have launched the idea of rewarding enterprises and citizens who conserve electricity and have launched facilities for them to sell surplus power.

There are other forms of alternate energy that can be utilised too

One more form of using alternate energy is to convert wind power to electricity to mechanical power, using wind turbines. These turbines turn the moving air to power electric generators. These wind turbines are connected to the power stations via transmission lines, through which it transports the power to the plants and units. Some transmission lines are connected to a larger network, forming an entire grid. Although utilizing wind power means higher initial investment, it narrows down the electricity cost in long term, as the wind is free, non-polluting and everlasting. Wind energy brings in a lot of money in rural investments, with the farm owners being paid for wind turbine installation.

Tapping the water to generate electricity comes with a host of advantages. Water provides a continuous source of energy, as the hydroelectric turbines rotates over the dams built in rivers. With low investment cost, a non-polluting renewable form of energy is manufactured that is reliable in powering factories and towns. Among the other sources of energy, hydrogen is one gas that has caught the attention of countries. It is the most abundant gas on earth but has to be separated from its compounds to generate power. Hydrogen can be used to generate fuel and electricity. The organic matter present in plants is called biomass and it can be utilized to produce bio-energy to generate electricity, chemicals and fuels. The earth’s internal energy is a useful source of energy too, known as geothermal energy, and can generate enough heat to power cities. The ocean tides can also be harnessed to produce an immense amount of electricity.

It is true that the natural resources like coal and oil is shrinking away and will someday be part of the history books. Before that hour arrives, Mother Nature offers other sources that can take its place.

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