Solar energy is energy that is derived and sourced from the sun.
Other energy sources being used are indirectly derived from the sun. The most common energy sources being used today like gas, coal, and petroleum are ancient biological material that derived their energy from the sun.
The energy that wood and foodstuffs have is still ultimately derived from the sun.
However, when we mention solar energy we usually are referring to the direct kind. This kind of solar energy by and large means the generation of heat or electricity by harnessing sunlight.
Advantages of Solar Energy / Here Comes the Sun
Sunlight can be used to directly generate electricity by the use of photovoltaic technology. The use of solar cells or photovoltaic arrays is getting more and more acceptable as an alternative and cost efficient means of generating power.
Sunlight concentration is also another way of using solar energy. Heat is also more readily usable than the energy in sunshine. You can use it for heating a building or for cooking or even for generating electricity.
Advantages of Solar Energy:
There are plenty of excellent reasons that equate to advantages in using solar energy. Here are some advantages in using solar energy.
1. The abundance of Solar Energy.
Even in the middle of winter each square meter of land still receives a fair amount of solar radiation. Sunlight is everywhere and the resource is practically inexhaustible. Even during cloudy days we still receive some sunlight and it is this that can be used as a renewable resource.
2. You don’t pay for sunlight.
Sunlight is totally free. There is of course the initial investment for the equipment. After the initial capital outlay you won’t be receiving a bill every month for the rest of your life from the electric utility.
3. Solar energy is getting more cost effective.
The technology for solar energy is evolving at an increasing rate. At present photovoltaic technology is still relatively expensive but the technology is improving and production is increasing. The result of this is to drive costs down. Payback times for the equipment are getting shorter and in some areas where the cost of electricity is high payback may be as short as five years.
4. Solar energy is non-polluting.
Solar energy is an excellent alternative for fossil fuels like coal and petroleum because solar energy is practically emission free while generating electricity. With solar energy the danger of further damage to the environment is minimized. The generation of electricity through solar power produces no noise. So noise pollution is also reduced.
5. Accessibility of solar power in remote locations.
Solar power can generate electricity no matter how remote the area as long as the sun shines there. Even in areas that are inaccessible to power cables solar power can produce electricity.
6. Solar energy systems are virtually maintenance free.
Once a photovoltaic array is setup it can last for decades. Once they are installed and setup there are practically zero recurring costs. If needs increase solar panels can be added with ease and with no major revamp.