Limitless, boundless, endless…such is the infinite power of the sun. Many are in agreement that if we are able to harness this power, we hold the key to sustainability. How then do we go from here to there?
Solar energy is the energy received by earth from the sun. This energy is converted to power through various technologies. These technologies include solar photovoltaics, solar heating, solar architecture, solar thermal electricity, and artificial photosynthesis. These technologies are being studied extensively for their potential in providing a more permanent solution to the present energy problem.
Solar technologies can either be passive or active in their method of capturing, converting, and distributing the energy for use. Orienting a house towards the sun is a good example of the passive method while the use of photovoltaic panels in a house’s roofing is an active method of obtaining solar energy. The ability of a place to harness solar energy mostly depends on its distance from the equator.
Practical Applications of Solar Energy
The reason why the sun’s power is touted to be the key to achieving overall sustainability is the many possible applications in which it can be used. Almost every aspect of human life is touched by solar energy. There is actually no reason not to consider solar energy in the search for a viable alternative source
The solar technology as used in architecture and construction has definitely become more mainstream and has been gaining acceptance from many home and business owners. There is also a similar trend observed in car manufacturing and purchasing. Solar energy is also very much in the news with regards to its use in achieving increased productivity in plants.
Solar Energy for Daily Use
In order for anything to be sustainable, it has to be realistic. Reality says that it must be easy to source. Reality says it must be affordable. Reality says it must be doable. In the absence of realistic conditions, nothing can become sustainable.
And so we attempt to use solar energy in our everyday lives. We try to cook, heat, ventilate, and light our households with solar energy. The critical issue here is that the sun’s energy is here to be harnessed. We just need to understand how we can make better use of solar energy to make sustainability a realistic option.