Monday, May 30, 2005

Alternative energy sources - Solar power

Solar power is by far the most available energy source on our planet, easily capable of providing many times the total current energy demand. This is really the most original energy source. If we go back in the history, in times before humans learned to make fire, entire planet needed sun for both light as well as the heat so you could say solar power is the oldest energy source of them all. Though solar power is the oldest energy source many energy experts believe this is the future energy source No.1 because of its huge potential, for instance the Gobi Desert alone has enough sunlight to supply almost all of the world's total energy demand. Sunlight can be converted into electricity mainly by using photovoltaics (PV) or concentrating solar power (CSP).

There are some other technologies available as well but they are mostly in experimental phase. Solar energy has extremely big potential but despite of that in 2009 solar power supplied less than 0.02% of the world's total energy supply. This is mostly because of two factors: inadequate technologies and high operational costs. The other disadvantage of solar energy is that is not available at nighttime. Governments in many countries have offered incentive green programs with special emphasis on solar power, where available of course. It also has to be said that solar energy belongs to intermittent energy sources, meaning that all available output must be taken when it is available and either stored for when it can be used, or transported, over transmission lines, to where it can be used.

Alternative energy overview:
     1. Introduction
     2. Solar power
     3. Wind power
     4. Biomass/Biofuel
     5. Nuclear energy
     6. Ocean and Earth Power
     7. Conclusion

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