Solar energy, the heat and radiant light from the sun, is harnessed with the usage of modern technology like the photovoltaic, solar architecture, solar heating, artificial photosynthesis and solar thermal energy. The solar energy is measured with the help of photovoltaic energy that produces electricity and the solar thermal energy used for heating water. It is measured in BTU i.e. British Thermal Units and is the amount of energy used for heating the pond of water from 39° F to 40° F.
Countries Using the Solar Power on Wider Scale
Solar power is the third important source of renewable energy used after the wind and hydroelectric energy. Many countries around the world use this nature-friendly source and Germany is ahead of all the countries by using 32,411 MW of Solar Power. Italy uses 16,361 MW, China uses 8,300 MW, USA 7,777 MW, Japan 6,914 MW, Spain 5,166 MW, France 4,003 MW, Belgium and Australia uses 2,650 MW each, Czech Republic uses 2,072 MW. Germany uses a higher capacity of the photovoltaic power that was near about 31% at the end of the year 2012 as the solar panels generated electricity near about 23 terawatt hours but only covers 3% of country’s electricity consumption. The country has a well-developed framework with large and small PV systems that helps in sending excess of electricity to the utility grid. The growth of electricity production was found high in Italy in the years 2009 and 2010 with a growth rate of 251% and 182% respectively. China is also fast growing in this sector as the solar panels reported an increased capacity of 6,000 percent and is working to achieve a target of 70 GW by cutting on the usage of coal and making itself equipped with green energy. The US is also working towards the growing of its solar power industry that reduced due to tax credits but after lifting up, the country has shown a considerable rise in the usage of solar power. The Solar PV market of Japan increased in the year 2013 and 2014 at a higher rate, its total generation capacity reached to 23.3 GW, and the solar energy fulfills 2.5% of the electricity demand of the nation. Many other European countries like Spain, Czech Republic, Belgium, and France have also shown a considerable rise in the usage of solar panels for generating electricity. Even Australia is not far behind as the solar power costs less than the electricity grid and the energy target have increased by 2600%.
Importance of Shifting to Solar Power
The shift to renewable energy is important because this energy will never run out and it is a natural source of energy. For the maintenance and development of solar energy sources, there will also be a greater need for a larger workforce. This fact will lead to the generation of more jobs and thus boost the economy of the countries utilizing solar power. With the usage of solar energy, the greenhouse gasses will not be released, and the solar powered vehicles will also help in curbing the release of toxic gasses to the air. Thus, solar energy will help create greener cities, towns, and villages and slow down global warming.