7 September 2014
Chapter 16 #1
Solar power is something that has been around many ages, but does anyone really know what it is? Solar energy is a renewable energy source that uses the sunlight. The solar panels convert the sunlight into usable energy. Solar thermal panels use the sunlight to heat water for washing and heating while solar PV panels convert the sunlight into electricity. In countries that experience a lot of intense sunlight, PV panels are becoming cost-effective way to generate electricity. Over the past couple of years solar power has become more affordable, more available, and more publicized than ever before. Some experts say that solar power will become the new standard in the year 2030, while others thinks they will see a shift in the next few years. From solar-powered toys and billboards can show that Americans are becoming more aware of solar’s capabilities. Solar financing is one of the five major trends of the year. The solar systems use large arrays of mirrors to focus sunlight for heat, which is used to create steam and produce electricity. PV panels have currently produced a majority of the world’s solar capacity, in the U.S. they expect to add thousands of megawatts of CSP in the next few years. While centralized CSP plants make solar available to more residents, people argue that the decentralized solar electricity generated on a smaller scale is the best way to encourage local ownership and have a widespread adoption. Solar is teetering on the edge of the mainstream adoption, factors such as financial uncertainties, ongoing regulations, and concerns about system reliability are still holding back. The decreasing price of solar has made these systems appealing from both a environmental standpoint and a financial standpoint, but education and consumer awareness has a way to go. Solar power are going to become a big source of energy over the next few years.