Experts predict that we will run out of fossil fuels by the end of the century. What once seemed so far away is now just around the corner. With more and more research being poured into using renewable energy, solar energy is becoming widely accepted across the globe.
Let’s take a look at 7 facts about solar energy that you might not be aware of.
1. One Hour of Sunlight Can Power the Earth for a Year
If we could harness the power of one hour of direct sunlight, it would provide enough energy to power the whole world for a year. The sun is the most abundant energy source down here on earth.
Every hour 430 quintillion Joules of energy hit the earth in the form of sunlight. That’s 20 quintillion Joules of energy more than the entire world uses each year.
2. Solar Power Doesn’t Need Direct Sunlight
Solar panels can capture different regions of the sun’s light spectrum. This means that even if it’s a cloudy day solar panel cells are still collecting energy to produce power.
3. Solar Energy Began Its Journey in 1839
The fact that we can create an electric current from the sun’s energy was discovered in 1839 by Alexandre Edmond Becquerel. A decade later, in 1941, Russel Ohl invented the first-ever solar panel. Bell Laboratories then released the first commercial solar panel in 1954.
Solar energy has come on in leaps and bounds since then. Nowadays you can even purchase your portable solar power station like the Bluetti AC200P.
4. California Has the Highest Usage of Solar Energy in the US
17% of California’s power comes from solar energy. More than half a million homes get their power from solar energy. There are 97.2 GW of power supplied by solar energy across the whole of the united states. There are now more than 2 million solar installations across the country.
5. Solar Energy Can Pay for Itself
While the initial cost of setting up solar energy for the home might sound expensive, once you’ve done it you no longer have to pay for your heating and electricity bills.
In some states, homeowners are reaching a break-even point in as little as 4 years. The average home can expect to generate up to $20,000 savings over around 20 years.
6. Solar Power Can Even Fuel Planes
Solar power can fuel much more than our homes. It has been used to fuel cars, trains, and now planes. A solar plane spent 23 days completing the 44,000km journey around the world back in July 2016. The longest leg of the journey saw the plane in the air for a whole 5 days.
7. The Biggest Solar Power Plant Is in India
The Bhadla Solar Park in India spans a massive 14,000 acres and can generate 2,250 megawatts. The solar plant is hoping to be able to generate 100,000 megawatts by the end of 2022.
These Facts About Solar Energy Are Just the Beginning
In the grand scheme of things, solar energy is still in its infancy. As we get closer to the end of nonrenewable sources, solar energy, along with its renewable counterparts, will be stepping up to power the world.
These facts about solar energy will eventually be shadowed as the drive towards renewable energy continues and more interesting facts about solar energy emerge.
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