What Is Solar Energy? Everything You Need To Know About Powering Life Using The Sun
There has been so much talk in the past decade about using solar energy to power devices large and small that it might have prompted you to ask yourself, “What is solar energy and what can I use it for?”
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about solar energy. By the time you finish reading this article, you should have a firm enough grasp on the concept of solar energy and all of its many advantages that you can reach an informed decision about whether or not incorporating solar energy into your daily life and activities is a transition which is right for your own life or not – because it certainly is a transition, but one that, hopefully, you will be able to see has benefits that make all of the transitional inconvenience worth it.
- Exactly What Is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is power that is derived from the sun. This power can be used directly, such as we do when we put sun tea out in the backyard to steep for several hours or we hang wet washing out on the clothesline to dry.
It can also be used indirectly after having been converted to electricity by powerful solar cells or solar panels.
Because of the fact that solar energy is infinitely renewable and one hundred percent clean, improvements are constantly being made to the technology which is utilized in solar cells and solar panels to convert the sun’s rays to electricity.
Eventually, maybe everything in the world that runs on power will be powered by solar!
- What Is Solar Energy Used For?
There are many uses for solar energy, both in commercial and residential settings.
First, it is used to heat water via solar hot water heaters that people have installed in personal homes. Secondly, people have solar cells and solar panels installed on their roofs in order to supplement or even replace their normal electricity supply. Third, you can use solar battery chargers to power all of the portable gadgets which are so ubiquitous in society. Fourth, people use appliances such as lights and stoves which have internal solar powering mechanisms which are built right in.
- What Are Some Of The Main Places In The World Using Solar Energy?
The top ten nations in the world that make the most use of solar power are (from least to most) –
10 – India
9 – France
8 – China
7 – Belguim
6 – The Czech Republic
5 – Italy
4 – The United States Of America
3 – Japan
2 – Spain
1 – Germany
These ratings are based on statistics about nations with the most instances of installations of solar power, and is accurate as recently as the end of the year 2009.
- What Are Some Of The Main Advantages Of Using Solar Energy?
There are many advantages to using solar power. First of all, it will never run out, it is completely and totally reliable. In fact, more solar power reaches the surface of the earth in one hour than the people of earth use in an entire year. We actually receive a significant surplus of this energy, so there is very little chance of it being depleted or going away.
Secondly, solar energy is completely and totally clean. This means that there are no harmful bi-products (from the energy itself or from converting the energy from its natural state into usable electricity) that are being put out into the atmosphere and destroying the environment as a result of solar energy. We could use solar energy all day long, every single day – every person on earth could do that simultaneously – and we would still not be destroying the earth’s environment as a result. That is a stark contrast to many forms of power in use today.
Third, on a more personal level, the heavy use of solar power in your residence significantly lowers your energy bills on a month to month basis. By getting the majority of your electricity directly from the sun, you no longer have to pay the Department of Water and Power to supply it to your home for you! This can result in a cost savings that amounts to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year, depending on the size of your dwelling.
- What Are Some Of The Best Ways To Incorporate Solar Energy Into Your Life?
To begin the transition over to using mainly solar power, you don’t have to get up one morning, invest in an expensive solar retrofitting of your home, and swear off electricity for life – no! You can start small! One of the best ways to start getting used to depending mainly on solar power is to invest in small objects, initially, that are powered with solar energy.
Some examples of small solar powered objects are yard lights and paving stones that glow at night. These implements replace yard lights. They absorb solar energy throughout the day and then emit radiant light throughout the night.
Another way to begin working solar energy into your life is to buy solar gadgets rather than electricity dependent gadgets. For instance, there are solar calculators, solar neck massagers, solar cigarette lighters, solar coffee makers, and more.
By starting to use solar in little but significant ways, you increase your awareness of how solar energy can benefit you!
As you can see, there are so many ways that you can incorporate solar energy seamlessly into your everyday life, and there are innumerable benefits for doing so. These benefits improve not only your own personal life, but the life of the planet that we all live on, as well.
Of course, there are convenience and monetary costs involved in transitioning to a largely solar powered lifestyle, but hopefully becoming aware of all of the significant benefits is more than enough to nudge you in the direction of using solar power in your day to day life.