Facts of Solar Energy That Can Amaze You
From the 1960s to 21st Century, solar energy is growing and developing unprecedentedly. And solar energy’s more than fifty years long journey has a lot of interesting and intriguing facts. On this article, you can see these strange but true facts about solar energy.
Thanks to all the efforts that solar energy researchers put, we can finally see results and yields of solar energy. Nowadays, the solar energy industry is ready to live through. Although there are no subsidies, solar energy projects across the world are getting ahead of fossil fuels. Because of that, it can be said that the future of solar energy is getting brighter day by day.
Even though solar energy is growing constantly, most of people still don’t know about solar energy. With this article, you can learn about these interesting facts about solar energy.
Related; Solar energy advantages
Solar energy is the amplest energy source on Earth
If we could store all the solar energy that hitting the Earth for an hour, we would meet all of mankind’s power demand for an entire year. This also means that we would not have to depend on conventional energy sources such as oil, coal, or natural gas. It shows how much importance the solar energy possesses.
These days, getting one year of energy in one hour from the sun might seem impossible to actualize. But with the speed of development of solar energy, it will be possible in the future. Moreover, the solar energy industry is growing exponentially which means innovations of solar will multiply even more.
Think about it from a different point of view, if we encompass the Mojave Desert with solar panels, we would produce energy to meet the annual U.S. demand for energy twice times.
The cost of solar panels has reduced by 99 %!
In comparison with 1977, it cost $77 per watt for a primitive solar cell. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the expenditure of a solar cell is now $0.21 per watt. A complete installed module is $0.39 per watt. These numbers are giving us how far solar energy covers a distance. The coming down ratio of solar energy systems are immense. Further, it will have more cost-effective in the upcoming years.
Solar Energy is getting ahead of fossil fuels
On an unsubsidized basis, solar energy costs as low as 4.3 cents per kWh, which means cheaper than any fossil fuel energy power plant, as stated in Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis. Natural gas is the cheapest fossil fuel choice, which charge between 4.2 to 7.8 cents per kWh.
When it comes to producing solar energy, it’s already more cost-effective than coal, nuclear, and, in most instances, natural gas, especially in the Southern U.S. According to that energy analysis, it is not difficult to estimate that solar energy will be the best option for produce energy in the future.
The economic life of Solar power plants are more than 40 years
Generally, when a company builds a solar power plant, they also give you some kind of support. This support is a power purchase agreement that lasts between 20 to 25 years. It is an indication of the minimum year of working smoothly. However, it does not mean that after 25 years solar panels will be unusable.
Indeed, solar power plants last 40 to 50 years, and their framework has a lot of value. After all these years, you can still replace these old materials or sell them at a good price. By the way, you can replace them to new parts with a considerably low price.
China: The Solar Energy Leader in the World
Solar energy is attracting a lot of notice in the U.S. In comparison with China, however, US total solar energy production is a drop in the bucket.
According to GTM Research in 2017, the U.S. established 12.4 GW of new solar energy systems. And China established 50 GW in that year. In order to understand those numbers better 50 GW of solar energy can power 8.2 million U.S. households.
Solar Energy Leader in the United States: California
California is the most eager state to switch solar energy systems in the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has reported that California gets 14% of its energy needs from solar. This percentage is more than any other state in the U.S.
What’s fascinating about California’s solar energy market is that it’s well scattered between small, rooftop solar systems and some of the largest solar power plants in the world.
Solar is the Fastest Renewable Energy Source to Build
When disaster strikes, no energy source can be built or repaired as quickly as solar. For example, a disaster struck last year in Puerto Rico, and they built power plants to compensate energy demand. Innovative companies like Tesla are able to establish small solar power plants with energy storage competence in any place in a few weeks. No conventional power plant, nor any other renewable energy plant, can be built so rapidly.
Maybe there’s a solar panel nearby
Solar power plants built in large and distant deserts can be easily noticed, but some small projects perhaps avoid our attention. These projects spread from the rooftop of your home to the panels in the distributors.
This might surprise you, but according to the Solar Energy Industries Association’s latest Solar Means Business report, Target is the largest company solar energy buyer with 147.5 MW of solar energy generation. It follows Walmart with 145.0 MW. Another remarkable corporate buyer is Apple, which has a solar power of 93.9 MW in the US. That amount is enough to fully charge 39 million iPhone for a year on a daily basis. In the long term, Apple aims not only to buy renewable energy but also obtain renewable energy to manufacture its devices.