Did you know that the sun beams more than enough energy every hour to satisfy energy need of the whole world for an entire year? Solar energy has tremendous potential; according to WEO 2012, solar photovoltaics (PV) will provide 7.5% of total renewable based generation. In recent years, governments across the world especially Germany, Japan and United States which are the major markets of the solar cells, have promoted solar energy in a big way through tax incentives. In the last 15 years, solar energy has surged about 20% a year due to significant drop in its cost and improvement in efficiency of solar energy systems. This paves the path towards a sustainable, clean energy future.
Here are some interesting facts about solar energy which are not commonly known:
• In 1954, Bell Laboratories built the first silicon solar cell which was precursor of all solar powered devices.
• Sun provides our earth with 173,000 Terawatts of solar energy continuously; this is more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use. Thus, by trapping this solar energy, which is the most abundant energy resource available to mankind on earth, we can make our world energy sufficient.
• Solar technology was adopted by space industry in as early as in 1960s, when spacecrafts were powered by using solar technology. In fact, the first artificial earth satellite powered by solar cells was The Vanguard 1, which has logged more than 6 Billion miles and till date is the oldest manmade satellite in orbit.
• The solar industry has installed 4.4 Gigawatts of solar power facilities, which is up 33 percent over the same period in 2012 and solar installations are also up by more than 75 percent as compared in 2012 thus making solar energy as one of the fastest growing energy source across the world.
• As the awareness among people to use clean energy is increasing, the prices of solar products are falling, thus making the solar energy an economical viable energy choice. There are certain road blocks in the progress of solar energy in the form of additional costs such as zoning, local permitting, inspection and connecting the solar system to the state power grid. This can cost an additional $2,500.
• There are numerous incentives to invest in the solar energy, as it provides clean energy benefitting the environment and stabilizes your energy costs by enabling you to control your own energy usage. A small 4KW system stops over 5 Tons of CO2 from entering our atmosphere and is equivalent to tree plantation done on over an acre of land.
• Solar energy systems are highly reliable as they can produce clean power for more than 25 years and the maintenance cost is negligible as no moving parts are involved. Solar energy provides reliability and stability to the state electric grid which have been stretched to their maximum capacity by feeding the electricity back to the grid.