The sun’s rays are turned into heat or electricity in solar power. Clean, affordable, and abundantly accessible worldwide, solar power is an ideal source of electricity.
Solar electricity may be generated at every site where the sun strikes the Earth. Solar energy is a limitless resource because it is derived from the sun.
There are several methods for harnessing solar energy. Photovoltaic solar panels are the most frequent method. Solar-powered photovoltaic (PV) systems harness the power of the sun’s rays to create energy.
A photon strikes and ionizes the semiconductor material on the solar panel, enabling electrons to break free of their atomic bonds and generate electricity.
When electrons are compelled to move in a single direction, an electrical current is produced. A small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is absorbed; the rest is reflected, feeble (infrared), or generates heat instead of electricity (ultraviolet).
Concentrated solar power is the second solar energy technique (CSP). In CSP facilities, solar thermal energy is used to generate steam, then used to generate electricity via a turbine.
To begin with, Bell Labs unveiled the first commercially viable solar power system in 1954. Because of the energy crisis in the 1970s, there was a lot of interest in harnessing solar power to generate electricity for homes and businesses.
Large-scale implementation was ruled out due to prohibitively high costs. Fortunately, during the past decade, the cost of PV devices has plummeted considerably, dropping by more than 59%. Solar panels may be financed for your house as well.
What are the benefits of using solar energy? You may prevent utility price hikes with solar energy and avoid paying for electricity. There are tax benefits and rebates for putting solar panels on your house in several states.
It also helps to keep the environment clean, provides employment, and makes America more energy-independent.
Solar Power Capacity By Country
Each country’s use of solar energy is very different from the next. Capacity figures for solar photovoltaics are shown below. It is estimated that China has 204,700 megawatts (MW), or roughly 3.9 percent of China’s total energy consumption, in solar power capacity as of 2019.
About 4.9 percent of the European Union’s total energy consumption is met by solar power, which has a capacity of 131,700 MW in the EU. With a total solar PV capacity of 75,900 MW, the United States ranks second in the world.
This equates to around 2.8% of the country’s total energy consumption. Currently, the United States has the solar power capacity to provide electricity to 11 million homes.
Japanese solar energy capacity of 63,000 MW and German capacity of 49,200 MW place them third and fifth, respectively, in the world.
Germany’s solar energy capacity is the third-highest proportion of total energy consumption in the world at 8.6 percent. Japan’s is 7.6 percent, which is quite a bit more than the rest of the world. In terms of PV watts per person, Germany is in first place with 595.
Honduras has the largest solar energy capacity share of the overall consumption at 14.8 percent, followed by Israel at 8.7 percent, slightly over Germany’s.
China (30,000 MW), the United States (13,300 MW), and India (10,000 MW) are the three nations that have installed the highest solar PV capacity in the recent year (9,900 MW).
Several countries also have CSP capacity in addition to PV capacity. The United States, with 1,738 MW, and Spain, with 2,300 MW, are the two countries with the most CSP capacity.
India, South Africa, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt, Australia, China, & Thailand are among the nations with lesser CSP capabilities.
The following are the top 10 countries in the world for solar energy production:
- China (175,018)
- United States (62,200)
- Japan (55,500)
- Germany (45,930)
- India (26,869)
- Italy (20,120)
- United Kingdom (13,108)
- Australia (11,300)
- France (9,483)
- South Korea (7,862)
Also See: Renewable Energy by Country 2022
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