All About Solar Energy

Energy - Sources of Power:  Solar EnergyWhat is solar energy? “Solar energy is the technology used to harness the sun’s energy and make it useable.”  Learn more about the different technologies used to make this happen in National Geographic’s website. From photovoltaic cells to large-scale solar thermal power plants, and from passive solar to overnight storage, the page has lots of information and basic definitions.

A key aspect to the question of using renewables over fossil fuel-based energies is how to make it work for communities, not just individuals.  Read one family’s story about deciding whether to get solar panels for their home, and their efforts to join with other members of their community to put solar panels on a central building from which they could all benefit.  In another example, this family was discouraged by the cost of having solar panels installed on their home, so they bought a kit and installed the panels themselves.

Check out this interview to learn how one young woman is working on bringing low cost solar energy solutions to developing countries.  Her company, Roseicollis Technologies, is currently working with organizations in South Africa, Indonesia, Kenya, and the Philippines.  The company is built around the SunSaluter, a $25 solar-panel rotator that “increase[s] a panel’s efficiency by as much as 40 percent…[and] is designed to benefit those in developing countries because it is easy to assemble and doesn’t require electricity.”

Another organization focused on bringing solar energy to developing countries is Solar Sister, a company that “eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity.  We combine the breakthrough potential of solar technology with a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network to bring light, hope and opportunity to even the most remote communities in rural Africa.”

This World Bank Renewable Energy Mapping Program helps “developing countries map their renewable energy potential in a new way that produces rich, nationwide data.  The project goes beyond existing solar and wind maps to provide the granular data governments need to understand the country’s full resource potential and to pinpoint the best locations for serving the population.”  Pakistan and eight other countries are joining the program and will be getting detailed data as they map out renewable energy resources in each country.

We hope these resources will provide you with interesting information about solar energy!

2 thoughts on “All About Solar Energy

  1. The AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population was founded in 2001. Since that moment I have seen it as a moral imperative to continue the work I’ve been doing for many years now: getting the message out and explaining to as many people as possible that human overpopulation of the Earth is occurring on our watch, that it poses profound existential risks for future human well being, life as we know it and environmental health, and that robust action is required starting here, starting now to honestly acknowledge, humanely address and eventually overcome.

  2. I am a young student in first year of physics masters. I have great interest in renewable energy, weather monitoring, atmospheric modeling and everything related understanding our planet and making more efficient and clean use of the resources it offers. For this reason, I would like to specialize in environmental physics. Your website which I just discovered via your facebook page is a great source of inspiration. At the moment I am trying to learn more about solar energy and your articles, together with the supporting links give me good foundations. Many thanks to you!

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