Solar technology has been gaining popularity all across the world for the last few years. We have finally reached a point where governments are investing heavily in solar technology in order to come up with alternative energy sources. It’s high time that we start adopting better energy production methods. Fossil fuel consumption has damaged the environment in so many ways now.
Conventional energy is produced by powerplants that run on fossil fuels. This resource is limited and also really expensive. Along with being expensive, it is also really bad for the environment. The process of extracting fossil fuels damages the environment. And their consumption produces harmful gases.
Solar powerplants, also known as solar farms, provide us with a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution to all of this. One that can improve our energy production capabilities and also save the environment.
In 2015, many countries agreed to taking steps in order to combat global warming. The meeting didn’t produce the results that everyone hoped it would since many countries didn’t take any steps after the meeting. However, some countries have been making an active effort to invest in solar technology. Currently, there are a number of gigantic solar farm projects in the world.
Tengger Desert Solar Park, China
This solar park has solar panels spreading over a massive area of 43 KM2 and generates around 1540 MW of electricity. The project was started in 2016.
Bhadla Solar Park, India
The Bhadla solar park spans over 40 KM2 and has the ability to produce as much as 2250MW of electricity. Currently, it produces around 1510MW.
Shakti Sthala Pavagada Solar Park, India
This solar park is in India as well. It spans over 52.5 KM2 and has the ability to produce as much as 2000MW of electricity. It is built on village land that had been ruined because of severe draughts.
Noor Abu Dhabi, UAE
The Noor Abu Dhabi is situated in Suwaihan UAE and can produce as much as 1170MW of electricity. It spans over 8 KM2 of land and has around 3.2 million solar panels in it.
Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park, India
India finds another way onto our list with the Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park that is built on top of arid land. This solar farm is 23 KM2 huge and can generate 1000MW of electricity.
Datong Solar Power Top Runner Base, China
This solar park has a rather unique layout; it is designed like a Panda and will be made in 3 phases. Its first phase is able to produce 50MW of electricity and spreads over 1 KM2. By its final phase, it is projected to produce 1000MW of electricity.
Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, China
This farm has around 4 million solar panels in it and can produce 850MW of electricity. It spans over 25 KM2.
Villanueva Solar Park, Mexico
Located in Coahuila Mexico, this solar farm takes up 12 KM2 of space. Its 2.3 million solar panels are able to move along with the sun in order to get the most amount of sunlight. The plant is projected to produce 1700GWh per year.
Rewa Ultra Mega Solar
This solar park is 7 KM2 big and can produce 750MW of electricity. It is currently powering an entire metro rail service.
Charanka Solar Park, India
This solar park is built on arid land as well. It has a total capacity of 790MW.
Organic Resources For Generating Electricity
With the ever increasing danger of global warming fossil fuels are no longer the best source of energy as they have to be burned in order to be used to generate energy.
The harmful gasses released by their burning such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide cause a lot of damage to the atmosphere and lead to the greenhouse effect.
Humans are not safe from this either, all living breathing creatures are caused harm. People with respiratory illnesses are at a much greater risk.
Considering these various factors we have focused our directive towards creating new and more environmental friendly sources of clean energy. One potential source can be biomass which is extracted from wastes. However we have to focus more on producing less waste than recycling it. A few ways to use natural energy without damaging the environment are:
The Sun constantly radiates energy on the Earth and most living creatures use it in one way or the other. If we were to collect all of the radiated energy for one hour it would be enough to power the entire earth for an entire year. We have already invented photovoltaic panels which can convert the sun’s energy into electricity, how convenient!
At the time of their invention they were extremely expensive but slowly with more research and improvement they became affordable and were able to be used by people more widely.
Solar Thermal plants are also able to take the Sun’s energy and convert it into electricity.They can absorb the sun’s heat and boil water which gets converted into steam, which rotates a turbine and hence generates electricity. Locomotive engines used to more or less work like this.
Currently Solar energy ranks third in the list of organic energy sources .
Remember how moving turbines generates electricity? Well the same concept is carried forward in this next source of organic clean energy.
Wind causes ocean waves and powers hot air balloons, hence it can be used to generate electricity as well.
Wind farms use wind turbines which keep on rotating thanks to the wind and power is generated. They can be set up on land or sea.
They produce more energy than solar panels.
The third resource involves underground magma. The magma heats up water that produces steam naturally. This steam escapes the earth and can be trapped and directed towards turbines which rotate and hence electricity is produced.
However this type of energy cannot be used everywhere as these natural sources of steam are not common. People living on the edges of tectonic plates can make use of this energy source.
Some side effects of using this resource include the production of both sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide and also occasional tremors caused by underground machinery.
Moving water can also be used to move the turbines. Dams have a lot of moving water that can be used to produce electricity. As much as 50% of the world uses Hydro Energy to produce its electricity.
However it has been proven to damage aquatic creatures.
The Best Source?
The movement of wind and water cannot be guaranteed or controlled in any way, but the Sun is a constant source during the daytime.
With rapid innovation the Sun’s energy can be absorbed even on cloudy days even if it will not be as efficient as when there are no clouds.
Reasons For Its Commercial Feasibility
- For the middle class, affording a solar panel system is the same thing as affording a car. Their price has been greatly reduced from what it was at the time of their invention.Photovoltaic cells are already used commonly in calculators and watches. Solar powered mobile phones and lights are also becoming increasingly popular. Solar powered devices are extremely useful for people who are travelling or camping.
- Solar panels have a long life span of almost 25 years. They are easy to maintain and only require once a year clean up and wire changing.
- The resource of the Sun is free and it is available everyday of the year. No emission is caused in collecting it either.
- Solar panels produce more efficient energy and can even generate a surplus which can be sent back to the electrical grid hence saving bills.
- The real Estate Industry has reported that buildings with a solar panel system installed sell easily as people tend to favour the long term benefit of using solar energy.
- It is in the government’s best interests to promote the utilization of solar energy as the Sun’s power is unlimited. The government’s power grid will have less strain on it. New policies are being introduced to encourage people to manage their own electricity source.
- The solar farms can turn into a safe space for animals and plants to inhabit as they provide shade and do not emit any harmful chemical.
- They can be built on abandoned landscapes or deserts which will provide a new source of income for the inhabitants.
- The more we resort to using Solar energy the greater reduction of carbon emissions will happen which will lessen pollution and make the environment healthier.
Solar farms or solar parks are large portions of land covered by solar panels, they produce a humongous amount of energy which is added into the power grid and then spread out to different places.
There are two types of Solar parks:
- Community Solar Parks which do not belong to an individual. These are run by either a government or a group. Various people can invest in them and get the generated electricity without having to take care of or maintaining the panels.
- Utility Scale Solar Parks which do not provide power to individuals but to large companies or the main power grid. They are often mounted on large areas of empty land.