How Solar Energy Is Keeping The Earth Green
With over two million metric tons of carbon emission polluting our air every year, solar energy is becoming increasingly popular and versatile. Solar energy can be used to power residential, commercial, and even agricultural areas. To help you stay informed, here are 7 things you didn’t know about solar energy.
1. Solar Energy Is the Most Abundant On Earth
With the sun rising every morning, sunlight is the most abundant and stable energy source available. Unlike wind energy which depends on weather conditions to produce electricity, the sun will rise every morning. There are 173,000 terawatts of solar energy consistently hitting the earth, 10,000 times the energy we need. Just like Annie said, the sun will come out tomorrow.
2. Solar Energy Is At An All Time High
In 2012, 85% more solar panels were installed than the year before. That year the United States reached 3,300 megawatts of solar energy production, making it the fourth largest solar energy producer in the world. Solar energy is becoming increasingly more popular in other countries throughout the world as alternative energy becomes the future’s energy solution.
3. Solar Energy Produces Fewer Greenhouse Gasses
Greenhouse gasses are detrimental to our environment and most of these greenhouse gasses are produced by our carbon consumption. While it is natural to produce some carbon gas and the carbon cycle is necessary for the perpetuation of life on earth, the amount of carbon gasses we are currently producing is doing more harm than good. Switching to solar energy instead of using fossil fuels will produce far fewer greenhouse gases.
4. Solar Energy Began In 1954
Bell laboratories built the first silicon solar cell, the grandfather of all solar-powered devices we have today, in 1954. The New York Times published an article describing this achievement, calling it “the beginning of a new era” and the “realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams.”
5. Solar Energy Is Used In Space
The space industry was actually one of the first adopters of solar energy as they started using solar cells to power spacecraft in the 1960s. In space, you don’t even need to wait for sunrise to use solar energy because the sun is always shining. This makes it the perfect source of renewable energy to power spacecraft. The Vanguard 1 was the first man-made earth satellite to use solar energy and it remains in orbit, logging over 6 billion miles.
6. Solar Energy Grew Exponentially in 1970
In 1970 we experienced an oil crisis that revealed an increasingly dangerous dependence on fossil fuels. This incident caused us to start researching renewable energies, like solar energy and wind energy, as alternatives to traditional carbon fuels. While we still haven’t completely reduced our dependence on fossil fuels, the oil crisis of 1970 helped us advance our technologies and get to where we are today.
7. Solar Energy Will Run Out Eventually
The sun is a star and, like any star, will die eventually. When the sun dies, we will no longer be able to use it as a source of energy. Fortunately, we don’t need to worry about it anytime soon. Astronomists predict we have another 5 billion years before this happens.