Most of us know about solar energy. We know it is a sustainable energy source. And we know that it can lower our monthly utility bills. But did you know that the sun is our planet’s most untapped energy source? You might be surprised to know how powerful solar energy is. Here are five mind-blowing facts you have to know about the energy.
1. One Hour of Solar Power Is Enough to Power the Entire Planet for a Year
The sun gives us light and warmth each day. But did you know that the sun can provide enough energy in an hour to power the entire planet for a year? Each hour the sun releases the equivalent of 430 quintillion Joules. Humans consume about 410 quintillion joules in power each year.
Unfortunately, at present, there is no technology available that can store up the sun’s energy for an extended time to provide reliable power for a whole year. This means much of this potential energy cannot be captured and used. Solar panels can tap solar energy and transform it into power but they cannot store it effectively.
2. Over 30 Years You Could Decrease Your CO2 Emissions by 100 Tons
Most utility companies produce most of their electricity through fossil fuels. This process produces greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide.
Solar electricity produces no carbon emissions. When you use such energy you become an independent generator of your home’s electricity. By doing this you significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
For every kilowatt of solar energy you use, you lower your carbon emissions by 3000 pounds annually. Over the 30 year life of a solar panel, you will decrease your carbon emissions by 100 tons. To learn more about installing solar panels you’ll want to find the right solar panel companies.
3. The First Solar Cell Was Developed in 1954 by Bell Laboratories
Solar Energy isn’t a new idea. Public awareness and use of the energy have grown dramatically recently and in the face of the climate crisis, however, the breakthrough occurred almost 70 years ago.
On April 26 1954 the New York Times reported “The beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams – the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for uses of civilization.”
4. The Space Industry Pioneered Solar Energy Use
The sun is the biggest object in our solar system. The sun’s diameter is about 109 times bigger than Earth’s. It should be no surprise then that exploration of space is powered by the sun.
As far back as 1960, space missions were powered by the sun’s energy. The satellite Vanguard 1 is the first powered entirely by solar cells and has covered more than 6 billion miles in orbit.
5. We Cannot Live Without the Sun
Life on earth depends on the sun. The sun provides light and heat for all living things. Plants use solar energy in photosynthesis to generate energy and provide food and oxygen for animals.
It is not surprising then that we need to rely on solar energy to meet climate goals. According to the International Energy Agency, to prevent global temperatures from rising beyond 2°C from where they were before the industrial revolution solar energy will be critical. In some predictions, solar energy will account for more than 10% of the earth’s electricity by 2050.
Solar Energy Is the Future
Solar power has long been viewed as an unrivaled source of power. From solar cell development in the 1950s to today, solar energy remains the world’s most untapped resource, with the potential to provide all of our planet’s electricity needs. It is only fitting solar energy is an essential part of our future.
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