The amount of sunlight striking the surface of the earth in an hour and a half can actually handle the energy consumption of the planet for around a year. Solar technologies are focused on converting sunlight into electrical energy with the help of mirrors that concentrate solar radiation or through photovoltaic (PV) panels. This energy can be used to generate electricity or be stored in batteries or thermal storage. Paul Favret mentions that while every location of the planet does receive some sunlight over a year, the amount of solar radiation reached on any surface of the earth varies. Solar technologies capture this radiation and turn it into useful forms of energy.
Solar energy is a renewable energy that is obtained from electromagnetic radiation from the sun. Sun is essentially an inexhaustible energy source. Photovoltaic cells are used to convert solar light directly into electricity owing to the photoelectric effect, through which particular materials can absorb photons and free electrons, thereby generating an electrical current. Conversely, panels and mirrors can be used to absorb and concentrate the heat of the sun, and subsequently transfer it to a liquid and conduct it through tubes for the production of electricity.
Among the various prominent energy sources available, solar energy has the least negative impact on the environment. It does not produce any such greenhouse gases or pollutes the water bodies. It also needs pretty limited water for maintenance, as opposed to nuclear power plants, which may need twenty times more water. Solar energy production does not create any noise, which comes as a huge advantage, as a lot of solar installations take place in urban areas.
Energy demands tend to be usually higher in between the 11:00-16:00 time frame and then early in the evening. Therefore, obviously, this is the time period when the price of electricity peaks. However, solar energy also happens to reach its maximum production capacity during such hours. Electricity produced during these time periods has greater value than if it was generated at night. Owing to the additional electricity input of solar energy, prices in these time frames might be driven down to a level close to those of night hours.
As long as there is sunshine, solar energy can be deployed anywhere. This makes it especially useful for remote areas where there is not proper access to any other source of electricity. Even in the contemporary landscape, there are places on the planet with no access to electricity. Independent solar systems can be deployed to those regions to improve the lives of several million people. Conversely, solar energy can also be used to power up spacecrafts and boats. Due to its dynamic uses, solar energy has attracted the interest of several industry experts, including Paul Favret. To acquire more detailed insights into solar energy, how the system works and what are its other advantages, one can always explore the web.