As a result of the exceptional expansion, the solar business is undergoing significant transformation. Here are six facts regarding this type of electricity that may come as a surprise to you, given its growing prevalence.
Most Abundant Resource
Solar energy is the most plentiful source of energy on earth; 173,000 terawatts of solar energy continually impact the surface of the globe. That is more than 10,000 times the entire amount of energy used in the globe today.
First Solar Cell
In the year 1954, Bell Laboratories created the first silicon solar cell, which is considered to be the progenitor of all solar-powered gadgets. On the front page of its issue dated April 26, 1954, The New York Times referred to the momentous occasion as “the beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams — the harnessing of the virtually limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization.” This announcement was made in reference to the achievement marking “the beginning of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams.”
Aerospace and Solar Technology
The aerospace sector was one of the earliest industries to embrace solar technology. In the 1950s, the space industry began to implement solar technology in order to supply spacecraft with the electricity they required. Vanguard 1, which was the first artificial earth satellite to be powered by solar cells, is still in orbit today and has logged more than 6 billion kilometers. It is also the oldest created spacecraft currently in orbit.
Rise of Solar Energy
In the present day, there is an unprecedented level of demand for solar energy in the United States. During the previous eight years, the total quantity of solar power that has been installed in the United States has expanded by more than 23 times, going from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 to an anticipated 27.4 GW by the end of 2015. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, that amount of energy is sufficient to supply the electrical needs of the equivalent of 5.4 million typical American households. The solar energy industry in the United States is now the third biggest in the world, but it is well positioned to become the second largest in the near future.
A Financially Viable Option
As costs continue to go down, solar power is becoming a more financially viable option for residential and commercial energy use in the United States. However, the most significant barrier to the widespread adoption of cheap solar power continues to be the high “soft costs” involved in the process. These costs include obtaining the necessary permits and zoning designations, as well as the installation of the necessary infrastructure to connect solar panels to the power grid. The municipal permission and inspection processes can add more than $2,500 to the overall cost of a solar energy installation and take anywhere from three months to a year to finish. The goal of the soft costs initiative under the SunShot Initiative is to make it easier and more affordable for households and companies to adopt solar energy.
Ivanpah Solar Power Facility
The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in the Mojave Desert of California is the biggest solar thermal energy plant that is currently in operation anywhere in the world. It makes use of a technology known as concentrated solar power (CSP), which directs the light from 173,500 heliostats, each of which has two mirrors, onto boilers housed in three power towers. The plant, which started operating in 2014, has a total capacity of 392 megawatts when it is operating at full capacity (MW).
The Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology is one of a kind because it enables solar energy to be stored for use at a later time after the sun has set. This has been a primary focus of our recent research and development efforts, and it helps alleviate some of the concerns regarding the delivery of solar power to locations and times when it is required the most.
If you wish to learn more about why the use of renewable energy is growing, visit this article.