Solar energy from the sun’s heat radiation is just one of the many renewable energy sources that are the subject of current global technological research and development. The harmful effects of the use of petroleum-based fuel to power vehicles and electric generation and distribution plants have prompted governments to take on a more serious look at their energy policies. Aside from solar energy, other renewable energy sources that can be used in lieu of fossil fuel are secondary solar-powered resources such as biomass, hydroelectricity, wave and wind power.
Solar electricity generation from solar power (sunlight) are of two types – by use of heat engines and/or photovoltaics (PVs). Sunlight may be collected onto solar panels which may be used directly as electricity with photovoltaics technology. Photovoltaic cells or solar cells are devices that directly covert light into electrical energy. Concentrated solar power (CSP) systems are heat engines that concentrate or focus large area sunlight, using lenses and mirrors (heliostats) with an installed tracking mechanism to follow and maximise sunlight catch, into a powerful small beam to bring to boil and produce solar hot water used in generating electric power much like that produced from geothermal power plants.
The increasing prices of oil products and their adverse effects on the environment associated with its refinement process and commercio-industrial trading and utilisation raised socio-economic and political concerns among governments and economies. Many, in their energy policy redirection, have encouraged use of renewable energy sources, notably solar energy that are cost-efficient in the long term. But up until the present, very few individual homes use solar power for domestic electrical use as the cost of acquisition or building and installing solar cells/panels outweigh its attractiveness as a “clean air” or “green” energy to the average homeowner in terms of immediate initial payoff.
Persistent research, studies and application of innovative technology in the renewable energy sector has optimistic promise of reducing the acquisition cost of solar power system installations in the near future even for the micro- and small-scale market sector that includes homes, small businesses and village walkway lighting systems (with individual or cluster electricity-generating solar panels and photovoltaic cells).
The thought of cleaner and fresher atmospheric air, greener surroundings with real and healthy trees is a vision that every citizen of this planet must etch in his heart and mind. We should all participate in the mission of chasing away the harsh scenario of global warming developing into “global boiling” that is sure to annihilate all of humankind.
Save mother Earth! It is the only “home planet” we know in the whole universe!