'The energy from the Sun' that will be the simplest definition of solar energy for most of the people, while on the other hand solar energy encompasses rather a long process which involve the technical method of harvesting the energy of the sun which is usually in the form of heat waves and it is those waves which can be converted into Thermal or electrical energy.
There are numerous reasons why solar energy and not other energy, one of which will be owing to its abundance and availability almost every part of the globe. It is a simple deduction that solar energy does not work well in cold climates. However, the efficiency of solar energy is seen more in cold climates as compared to areas where there is maximum exposure to sunlight. It is due to the fact that high exposure to sunlight can reduce output voltage. Now, what is with the abundance of sunlight? As per the department of energy the earth surface receives 73,000 terawatts of solar energy on a daily basis which is 10,000 times the global energy use daily. Imagine converting at least 10% of that total energy.
One of the major concern the world today faces is that of the climate change which has stayed in the limelight for too long and has gained world wide attention and to curb such global problem one have to start at a point somewhere and that is where solar energy comes. Solar energy has a negligible impact on the emission of greenhouses gases which are the major source of global warming. The energy being renewable provides a beneficial alternative to many fossil fuels. Besides solar energy can be installed almost everywhere depending on the size and the intensity of the energy to be produced. Typical solar panel produces about 250-325 watts of electricity that will generate about 5 kilo watt of energy thereby saving a huge amount of money on electricity Bill.
GThe cost of installing solar products have also dropped significantly between 2017 to 2018 by 9%. Many countries have now seen the potential of solar system as tax rebates and state policies have been initiated for solar system. India as well has taken the initiative to set up $350 million fund for solar projects to achieve 175 gigawatts in renewable energy by 2022.India receives twice the amount of sunshine as compared to European states thereby have a great scope for a solar city. The solar panels manufactured are also highly durable to extreme weather conditions including the impact of hail stones. Solar energy is just not another form of renewable energy, it is 21st century form of energy with many countries resolving to settle with it.
However, there are some disadvantage as well in setting up solar system. Some of which is the back up power or the solar grid meant to be used at night or during shady days but the solar grid does not have enough storage to go on for a long time therefore, we cannot be 100% solar dependent moreover, larger solar system takes an expertise for its installation.
TThe cost and space is another making it hard for commoner to go all solar furthermore to set up the solar panel, the structure of the house should be kept in mind as well or else a different structure to install the solar panel should be constructed, which is another problem. Solar panel for commercials purpose requires a huge amount of land approximately 3.5 to 10 acres megawatt. The production of solar panel requires several exotic materials some of which are copper,indium,gallium,diselenide and cadmium etc which if not disposed properly can cause serious environmental or public health threats. Concentration solar panel plants (CSP) like any other plants takes a huge amount of water for its cooling thus creating another problem
Thus, solar energy provides an alternative to so many conventional form of energy and must be encouraged though, it comes with some flaws yet with proper care the threats could be minimize, thus, making solar energy the most sought and reliable form of energy.
-- Zujamo Ngullie