Solar energy is a renewable energy source, meaning that it is not depleted when used.
Other forms of renewable energy sources include wind, hydro (water), geothermal (heat from underground), and biomass. Each of these renewable energy sources occur due to the Earth’s natural processes.
These renewable energy sources produce clean and sustainable energy that will not increase the negative effects of climate change or produce any harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The sources of energy themselves are also free and in abundance, which further increases the benefits of these renewable sources. They are also versatile and easily adaptable, meaning advancements in technology is allowing these energy sources to become more readily harnessed much more efficiently and cost effectively.
Fossil fuels, including oil, natural gas, and coal are non-renewable and finite, meaning that eventually these sources of energy will run out. According to a report carried out by Stanford University the world will become depleted of coal by 2090, natural gas by 2060, and oil by 2052.
The use of fossil fuels also requires large amounts of machinery, processing, and transportation before they can be used as a power source. This can be costly and has a significant negative impact on the environment. Renewable energy, including solar energy can be harnessed and utilised by technology that generates electricity onsite. Reducing the need for greenhouse gas emitting transportation and processing, whilst also taking advantage of a free and abundant source.
Studies have shown that the sun produces more than enough energy to power the needs of every human around the world, meaning that if we take full advantage of solar energy, we can significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and focus on a clean energy source.
These solar energy installations work by harnessing the sun’s energy and converting it into useable electricity that can be used throughout our homes and workplaces. Due to the fact that solar energy will never run out, homeowners, businesses and organisations that have solar energy installations installed will be able to continuously benefit from this clean and renewable energy source, increase their independence from the electrical grid, and lower their electricity bills.
The sun produces more than enough energy to
power the needs of every human around the world.
In regards to the limitations of renewable energy sources, these are based on how efficient and cost effective the technology is. In recent years, renewable energy technology, including solar panels, have become more affordable and accessible. This means that more and more people can power their homes and businesses using a reliable, stable, and renewable energy source that won’t become depleted anytime soon.
In 2021, Carbon Tracker, a not-for-profit Think Tank, claimed that both wind and solar energy, alone, could produce thousands of petawatt hours (PWh) of electricity a year. As both sources are renewable and will not run out this could provide the world with enough clean energy for future generations. Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor at Stanford University, claims that the entire world’s energy demand could be met by utilising 0.2% of available land for solar energy generation, and 0.5% onshore wind turbines energy generation. Once this land has been set up to produce clean energy they will continue to do so, as the source will never run out.
Wind and solar energy, alone, could produce
thousands of petawatt hours (PWh) of electricity a year.
As the UK Government works towards its promised transition to clean energy, solar energy will begin to play an important role. If the government hopes to reach net zero by 2050 and decarbonise the UK, the amount of energy generated through renewable energy technology needs to increase.
Currently, the UK has over 1 million homes that have solar panels installed, and in 2020, 43% of the UK’s electricity was coming from a renewable source. In 2023, the UK produced its trillionth kilowatt hour (kWh) from renewable sources. This is a figure that will continue to increase as these sources will never become depleted.