With electricity prices going up, new worries concerning global warming increasing, and the new solar technologies becoming available at such attractive prices, making electricity from the sun is certainly one of the smarter ways to help both the environment and the bank account.
The Earth receives 174 petawatts (PW) of solar radiation at the upper atmosphere. While traveling through the atmosphere, 6% (10.44 PW) of the incoming solar radiation (insolation) is reflected and 16% (27.84 PW) is absorbed. Average atmospheric conditions (clouds, dust, pollutants) further reduce insolation by 20% (34.8 PW)through reflection and 3% (5.22 PW) through absorption. What is left over (95.7 PW) is still a vast amount of energy that is available on a daily basis to be harnessed and put to work. Using the solar energy we will have available on a more or less permanent basis, we can use that solar power to heat our homes, heat cooking equipment, and bathing water or a number of things. As the growing energy issues continue to impact energy prices, solar power becomes more and more attractive.
The opportunity to convert your home appliances, such as your hot water, outdoor pool, refrigerator, and so on has never been better. Within a short period of time, especially if proposed governmental legislation to counter global warming is put into place, the price of electricity generated from coal, natural gas, and oil will be increasing at an alarming rate.
Some people consider our reliance on oil, gas, and coal powered electricity to be worrisome enough to be suggesting a massive new project to convert a large percentage of electrical generation in North America into a solar powered solution.
The market for solar photovoltaic panels, which are cells made of crystalline silicon and used to turn sunlight into electricity, has grown by roughly 42% annually since 2002. The reasons for you to consider being part of this growth are very good indeed. Save money, be independant of the electrical grid (which as infrastructure become more and more worn over the years results in frequent power losses), and help cut back on the coal, natural gas, and oil consumption used to generate electricity.
The United States has the opportunity to position itself as a global leader in producing utility-scale solar power from its vast deserts, but it needs immediate and appropriate government support, a new report from the International Energy Agency says.
The study by the Paris-based energy policy adviser for developed nations says with R&D backing, adoption of feed-in tariffs and binding renewable energy portfolio standards, the U.S. and other sunny nations could accelerate the cost reductions needed for widespread deployment of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. [More Info]