Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. As far back as 5,000 years ago, people “worshiped” the sun. Ra, the sun-god, who was considered the first king of Egypt. In Mesopotamia, the sun-god Shamash was a major deity and was equated with justice. In Greece there were two sun deities, Apollo and Helios. We are now harnessing the sun’s power for our own use and it is considered one of the best sources of Green Energy.
Many newer homes are having energy panels installed on their roof tops for a percentage of the money earned by harvesting the solar energy. Solar cells are also called photovoltaic cells – or PV cells for short – and can be found on many small appliances, like calculators, and even on spacecraft. They were first developed in the 1950s for use on U.S. space satellites. They are made of silicon, a special type of melted sand.
Solar energy refers primarily to the use of solar radiation for practical ends. However, all renewable energies, other than geothermal and tidal, derive their energy from the sun. Environmentalists recommend this source of alternate energy the most has it is totally renewable and leaves no carbon footprint.
Canada is set to become one of the worlds biggest polluters with the ever increasing expansion of the Tar Sands. Many Canadians are embarrassed with Canada’s environmental record and would like to see a shift to Green Energy in the future. Still our hands are tied as “Harper” continues to pass legislation that circumvents environmental concerns in his rush to cozy up to big oil money. By the end of this century the cost of damage by extreme weather caused by global warming will pale when compared to the few dollars garnered from the oil sands.
Solar energy is lauded by environmentalists as an inexhaustible and renewable fuel source that is pollution and mostly noise free. The technology is utilized almost everywhere. For instance, solar cells generate energy for far-out places like satellites in Earth orbit and remote buildings deep in the Rocky Mountains as easily as they can power downtown buildings and futuristic cars.
The dry, sun-drenched desert areas of the southwestern United States hold enormous potential for large-scale deployment of solar energy facilities and systems. Solar energy can be used to generate electricity, monitor ecosystem conditions, pump water for livestock, and provide lighting and communications in remote desert areas. The DOE SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national initiative to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade. Reducing the installed cost of solar energy systems by about 75% will drive widespread, large-scale adoption of this renewable energy technology and restore U.S. leadership in the global clean energy race. Our governments have a hard time planning beyond their next election. The chances of them making any tough decisions politically is hard to imagine.