The problem the modern world faces is the lack of energy. We are burning up coal at such a rate that by 2050, there will be no more coal in the world. So what do we do for power? The answer is literally up in the sky. Renewable energy sources as the name suggestions are replenished constantly by the sunlight.
Renewable energy is reliable and plentiful for solar power
Renewable energy is reliable and plentiful, and will potentially be very affordable once technology and infrastructure improve. This type of energy includes solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower and tidal energy, plus biofuels that are grown and harvested without fossil fuels. Unlike non-renewable energy – such as coal – require costly explorations and potentially dangerous mining and drilling, and they will become more expensive as supplies dwindle and demand increases. Renewable energy produces only microscopic levels of carbon emissions and therefore can help combat climate change caused by fossil fuel usage.
How does solar power work? Sunlight and all light contains energy. Normally, when light hits an object the energy turns into heat, for instance: the warmth you feel when sitting in the sun. However, only a certain materials turn into an electrical current that can then be harnessed for power.
So who are the world leaders?
Germany: With the sun beaming overhead and the nation hard at work, PV solar power accounts for half of the country’s energy needs. In 2009 alone, Germany installed 3 806 megawatts of solar energy capacity, which is eight times more than the United States of America (USA) installed in 2008. Germany has set a goal that by 2050, the country will be fully reliant on renewable energy.
Spain: Spain was the world leader in newly installed PV solar energy in 2008, due to the governments focus on creating a national solar energy industry. However in 2009, the capacity decreased dramatically. The reasons for this drop are attributed to intricacy and interruptions relating to a government subsidy program and a decrease in energy demand due to the global recession.
Japan: While Japan currently lies third on the list of countries producing solar power, the country is forecasted to take top spot when they boost their solar installations range from 6.1 gigawatts to 9.4 gigawatts later in the year. However, in order for this to become sustainable, the solar system prices will need to come down closer to the global average, enabling the Japanese people to afford the solar power systems.
Italy: In the last year, Italy has increase the solar power energy produced by 73 percent. This means that the country is able to provide between 7 and 8 percent of the country’s electricity via solar power. According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, because of sunny climate and available land, Italy has the potential to be one of the strongest solar energy markets in the next few years.
USA: Through the Department of Energy, the USA is a world leader in funding solar power research and development. Furthermore, this is one of two countries the other being Italy- in the world that has existing large scale concentrating solar power. However, currently only 1 percent of the country’s total energy consumption comes from solar power, but has the capability of being the largest provider because of the sunny climates around the most part of the USA.
These are five of the top solar energy producers in the world. These countries are showing the world the way forward and helping cut down on global carbon emissions.