Solar: harnessing the power of the sun as part of a balanced energy solution

In recent decades solar energy has increased in popularity, in part due to subsidies. Whether solar power comes from panels installed on  a home’s roof to power a household’s daily electricity needs, or from a solar-thermal power plant serving entire communities, solar energy has an essential role in a balanced energy ecosystem.

Solar energy can replace electricity and heating systems in homes and commercial businesses. Because it gives off zero emissions, solar is an exceptionally clean energy source. It is also one of the best renewable energy solutions because it is unlimited. Best of all, solar cell technologies continue to improve, making gains steadily in sunlight collection and conversion efficiency.

How it works

The sun-to-energy chain

Sunlight is collected and converted into energy through solar panels. Solar panels are installed on rooftops or the ground to power a home or building. Solar power plants, or farms, convert sunlight into energy for an energy grid, and several different technologies can be used at these facilities. 

Whether large-scale or small, the basic sun-to-energy chain involves collecting sun rays through a solar panel, converting it to electricity, and distributing the energy to where it’s needed. 

What you need to know

solar's strength and weaknesses

  • Solar Power is an excellent source of energy, but typically, the sun is going down when the need for electricity hits its peak.
  • Power plants using solar often see solar energy wasted if they can’t store the power.
  • Excess solar (and wind) energy can be stored as hydrogen to fill daily needs after it gets dark.
  • The combination of fluctuating solar and wind power with the  ability to store as hydrogen for long periods of time offers stable and reliable energy for a sustainable future.
Sou rce: https://www.energy.gov/articles/top-6-things-you-didnt-know-about-solar-energyOf solar e nergy strikes theE arth continuously1 73,000TER AWATTS
Sun ny CaliforniaSou rce: https://www.alternative-energy-news.info/benefits-solar-power-infographic/Los Angelesreceives anaverageof 5.5 hours of sunlight per day.A kilowatt peak solar system cange nerate 1,600 kilowatts per yearin sun ny climates.Hou rs of5.5sunlight
California once had the largestsolar p ower plant in the worldcovering1 ,000 acres...T he largest solarp ower plantsh ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_photovoltaic_power_stationsI ndia currently has the twobiggest facilities covering acombined23 ,000 acres.
Solar realesta teSolar panels would have to be installedon over 191,000 square miles to powert he entire earth on renewable energy.(There are57 million square miles ofla nd on earth,so t heres room to spare forsolar panel squares.)h ttps://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=97&t=31 91KSq. Miles


While more and more electric and fuel cell cars are introduced to the consumer market, solar energy has yet to make a significant impact on the automotive industry. The prospect of running out of “fuel” as soon as the sun goes does or as rain clouds emerge is naturally a concern. Companies like Toyota, however, have already introduced electric and fuel cell vehicles that are “solar-assisted,” offering a hybrid mix of alternative energies — not unlike the balanced approach that’s ideal for a clean energy grid. 

In the news

Austin airport transitions to Renewable Natural Gas

Aided by clean energy, austin-bergstrom aims to reduce it's carbon footprint by 20%

February 3rd, 2020

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipisc elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim. magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate. Read more