Most of us will have heard plenty about the obvious advantages of solar power and many will have even discussed some lesser-known benefits, without going into too much detail. Therefore, it’s time to get factual. Producing hard facts is far better than adding “could be,”“should do,”“might have been,” and “potentially”to everything we say about solar power. And, though words like solar cells, solar power systems, solar photovoltaic (solar PV), and renewable energy source may not sound like the most interesting things in the world, we have a few stories that are rather interesting indeed. Without further ado, here are three amazing solar power facts that will blow your mind!
1) So Much Power!
You’ve probably heard about how much potential there is for solar energy and the solar industry, in general. And, when you honestly look into it, you cannot disagree. To briefly explain how solar energy works, the light from the sun produces photons which are like tiny packets of energy. These packets reach the earth in around nine minutes, which is ridiculously fast considering how far away the sun is. What’s more, the sheer number of “energy packets” that the earth's surface receives is insane. To put it into perspective, the earth receives enough photons in just one hour of the day to efficiently supply the world with enough power to last a whole year—and that is no lie! When most people hear this, they struggle to understand why we aren’t making use of it yet, especially with concerns over global warming. In all honesty, however, we haven’t figured out how to effectively harness and store that amount of energy. For now, at least it is a fact that most definitely gives us hope for a future with clean, eco-friendly, and renewable clean energy through the use of solar systems.
2) Water Purifier
This little-known fact is a fantastic benefit of solar energy. As humans, we all need water and simply cannot live without it. What’s more, solar energy can be used to heat water. Nothing new there, you may think. However, through solar energy, it can heat up contaminated water and the evaporation and condensation process makes it perfectly safe to drink. How? The simple evaporation process kills all known bacteria and germs making the water clean and, therefore, drinkable. Furthermore, ultraviolet rays are considered a germicidal, which, again, kills germs and parasites. Add this to the fact that the process is incredibly eco-friendly and it is a game changer for rural areas. Aside from the current expense of solar energy, imagine how it could transform the standard of living in developing countries. Many poor countries lack basic human needs such as electricity and clean water. Worse still, drinking contaminated water is one of the most common causes of death around the world. And when you think that many developing countries have very warm climates, you know that solar energy would work perfectly. Solar energy could be a true savior for so many people!
3) It Offsets the Production of CO2
Just how amazingly eco-friendly solar power is can quite literally be shouted from the rooftops. However, while many people understand that it is a very green source of energy, they don’t necessarily realize just how much of a difference it can make to our planet. Solar power not only lowers the need for fossil fuels but it significantly reduces the production of harmful emissions. A rooftop solar panel system has an average life expectancy of around 28 years and it has the ability to generate anywhere from 40% to a staggering 100% of a household’s electricity needs. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, solar power could offset the production of around 100 tons of carbon monoxide (CO2) during its 28-year-life expectancy. Not only that, but it can also offset one-third of a ton of nitrogen oxide as well as half a ton of sulfur dioxide. These figures are based on a single household's usage that also receives a two-year energy payback. In the future, if people continue transitioning to solar power, imagine the number of reduced emissions. These facts alone should be enough for almost every homeowner to go solar.
Some Fun World Facts
Once you have established the true potential of solar power, it’s both fascinating to understand its strengths but a little worrying to think about why it isn’t being used more. To give you peace of mind, we have found some pretty interesting information about solar energy and how it is rapidly becoming utilized around the globe.
Rest assured solar energy is most definitely being used. So, read on! Tamil Nadu in India has the largest solar plant in the world. It covers an area of 2,500 acres and includes 2.5 million solar panels. You read that correctly. 2.5 million! The plant cost around $679million and can generate enough power for 750,000 people. A fact favorite regarding the largest power plant in the world is thata solar-powered robot cleans the site every day!Total solar success! Prior to the completion of the solar plant in Tamil, the largest plant was in the Mojave Desert in California which covers an area of 1000 acres.
Furthermore, the impressive Mineirao stadium in Brazil was where the 2014 world cup was held. It was kitted out with 6,000 solar panels and was the world’s first world cup stadium to be completely powered by solar energy.
You have all heard that a baby is born every second somewhere in the world. Well, we can now top that. Almost 100,000 solar panels are installed around the world every hour. That is the equivalent to about 1000 football fields being filled with solar panels every single hour!
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, built the world’s largest battery which, you guessed it, is completely solar powered. The battery is situated in Australia and can power around 30,000 homes for up to an hour. Tesla built the battery in just 100 days and its capacity is a staggering 100mw. Rumors are spreading that they might try and outdo themselves further still, but we will have to wait and see. Imagine the entire world running on batteries!
There is already solar-powered transportation available including cars and trains, but that capability also extends to airplanes as well. In 2016, Bertrand Pic card flew a plane that ran entirely on solar power around the world. His efforts alone have demonstrated the true potential of solar power and, once enough money is invested in it, air travel will change for the better.
As you can see, solar power and its potential is truly outstanding. The hard facts that back it up are undeniable and the incredible breakthroughs that have happened around the world are astonishing. In the coming years, solar energy is expected to advance even further, and prices are predicted to drop sharply as demand continues to grow. The demand for solar energy today is at an all-time high and will likely only increase with time.