Most of us know that solar is the cleanest and greenest source of energy. We also know that it’s becoming more widely available as the technology improves to decrease costs and make it more user-friendly. But here are five more facts about solar energy you may not be aware of.
1. We Can Depend On It for About Another Six Billion Years
Though considered a renewable energy source due to the fact that sunlight does not deplete no matter how much we use it, solar energy will not be around forever. The sun is approximately 4.57 billion years old and will probably be there for another 6-7 billion years before it burns out and becomes what is known as a white dwarf. We obviously won’t be around in 6 billion years to see the sun burn out, which is a good thing because the event will likely consume the Earth as well.
2. The Necessity for Solar Energy Became Obvious in 1970
Most Americans were perfectly happy burning fossil fuels for energy until OPEC embargoed oil exports to the United States in 1973, causing shortages and skyrocketing prices. This event revealed how delicate was our reliance on fossil fuels and kicked off a surge of interest in alternative energy sources, with solar and wind technology quickly becoming the main focus.
3. The World’s Largest Solar Power Plant is in California
The Mojave Desert in California is home of the largest solar power plant in the world, covering 3,200 acres. Named Solar Star, the plant has a capacity of 589 megawatts and creates enough energy to power 255,000 homes.
4. The Earth is Hit with More Solar Power Than We Could Ever Use
The surface of the earth is hit with around 174 quadrillion watts of energy from the sun every day. In just one day, that’s enough to power a light bulb for every single person on the planet for the rest of their lives. However, we are unable to harness large amounts of that energy due to pollution, lack of technology, and the fact that we can’t cover the entire surface of the Earth with solar panels – nor would we want to! The good news is that there is still plenty of solar energy available and as we get more savvy about capturing it, the better off our planet will be.
5. The Space Industry Was One of the Earliest Users of Solar Energy
Use of solar energy is not new. In fact, NASA has been benefitting from it since the 1960s. In need of an energy source that would not burn out, NASA incorporated solar technology on spacecraft and on satellites. The Vanguard 1, which is the first earth satellite powered by solar cells, is the oldest manmade satellite still going. It has logged over 6 billion miles.
Solar energy will continue to play a large part in our planet’s future and give us the ability to create products and programs to further reduce emissions and make our world a greener place. If you have any questions about solar power for home or business installations in Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey or Delaware, please contact us.