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Solar Energy - Wherever the Sun Shines
Wherever the Sun shines, the promise is forever....even at the graveyard!
Solar energy is a very promising and endless source of renewable energy. It is clean, sustainable, indigenous and does not contribute to global warming.
Interests in solar energies is very much linked with oil price fluctuations, dating back to the 1973 oil embargo, the energy crisis of 1979 and the falling oil prices in the early 1980s. But now there is an added factor of urgency in need of new renewable energies to mitigate global warming.
Solar energy that is captured is converted into electric energy by the photovoltaic cells installed in the solar panels. On a big scale, the electricity is fed into the grid system as normal electricity The main obstacle in the harnessing of free solar energy lies in the high installation and material costs.
Solar cells are typically combined into modules that hold about 40 cells; a number of these modules are mounted in PV arrays that can measure up to several meters on a side. These flat-plate PV panels can be mounted at a fixed angle facing the sun, or they can be mounted on a tracking device that follows the sun for maximum capture of solar energy. Several connected PV arrays can provide enough power for a household. For large electric utility or industrial applications, hundreds of arrays can be interconnected to form a single, large PV system, or connected to a grid system.
A typical commercial solar cell now has an efficiency of 15%- compared to 4% for the first solar cells in the 1950s.
Photovoltaic production has been doubling every two years, increasing at an annual average of 48% since 2002, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing energy technology. The EPIA/Greenpeace Advanced Scenario projected that by the year 2030, solar energy-generated power will account for 10% of total global power supply, and 20% by 2050.
As of January 2010, the China has committed $7.3 billion to create a more efficient Smart Grid. The investment, $200 million more than that being spend by the United States in 2010, makes China one of the global leaders in smart energy development. ( smartmeters.com )
In the developing countries
like China, India and Cuba,
The like of this donor-funded program
promotes rapid growth of the PV industry in
China is the top manufacturer of solar photovoltaics by 2008, with capacity of 1.7GW as compared to global 3.8GW in 2007 (Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association-CREIA).
Though China supplies half the world's solar panels, solar power as in grid-tied photovoltaic is still in its infancy due to affordability. But in July 2009, China announced its plans to subsidize 50% of investment costs and offer incentives on relevant solar power transmission and distribution connected to grid to boost a broader utilization of solar energy. This comes at a time when European countries including Spain and Germany, two of the largest solar markets, are pulling back on spending to slow industry growth.
References and related news:
Solar Power Plants to Spring Up in China
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