The news is scary. Global warming is much worse than climate scientists first believed. It is truly sad that mankind had to wait until the earth is nearly destroyed before developing a compelling energy plan. The implementation of solar power is changing the course of human history. Solar power is a clean, renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Solar radiation is fundamental to life on earth, providing the limitless supply of energy that fuels almost every ecosystem on the planet. However, solar supplies only a fraction of global energy. The solar industry is a quickly expanding component of the renewable energy sector that is ready for enormous growth due to falling prices and environmental urgency.
The sun produces energy through thermonuclear fusion in its core; this energy is released from the sun as neutrinos and electromagnetic, or solar, radiation. After an approximately eight-minute voyage across 150 million kilometers (93,000,000 miles) of space, about half a trillionth of the solar radiation created by the sun reaches Earth. The atmosphere reflects some 29 percent of this incoming energy and absorbs about 23 percent. About half of that energy reaches the earth’s surface. Photosynthetic organisms, such as green plants, use this energy to produce carbohydrates from carbon and water. This process transmutes solar radiation into a form usable by other organisms.
Today’s solar technology is divided into passive and active categories. Passive solar power utilizes the light of the sun directly, as in a building designed to produce natural light. Active solar technology produces photovoltaic and solar-thermal systems. A photovoltaic installation generates electricity from sunlight using a semiconductor, a material that produces an electrical charge when solar photons excite its electrons. Solar thermal energy systems concentrate solar heat, either for heating purposes in a home or to fuel industrial-scale steam-powered electrical generators. Radiation from the sun is also the ultimate driver of many other energy sources. The remains of organisms powered by sunlight compose coal and hydrocarbons, and differential solar heating of the earth helps spur the air and water currents drawn through wind and wave energy.
Burning fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. Solar energy does not release greenhouse gases, although emissions can result from the production of solar energy systems. A 2014 assessment published by the International Energy Agency suggested that photovoltaic and thermal energy systems could potentially create the largest source of global electricity by the middle of this century. This scenario, the agency reasoned, could stop more than 6 billion tons of annual carbon-dioxide emissions by 2014.
Make the switch to solar power today! Now that the prices for solar panels are continuing to fall, the investment you make in solar power will pay for itself even faster than before. In addition, you have the pride of knowing that you are generating your own power, free from the electrical grid. Even better, your conscience can rest easy knowing you have done your part to try to reduce your carbon footprint. In combination with actions to curb energy wastefulness, solar is the solution the world has needed. With solar energy, you will eliminate your electric bill in many cases and you may be able to sell excess power back to your utility company. What the world needs now is millions of home and business owners who are willing to take the solar plunge!
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