Facts About Solar Energy
As of 2016, Solar Energy accounted for 12% of Renewable Electricity within the UK. Not only is the social demand for Green Energy growing, but Solar Energy in particular. With over 900,000 homes in the UK already operating with Solar Panels. Solar Energy is becoming a viable, accessible and affordable way to power your home. With the goal to reach Net Zero set for 2050, Solar energy is on the rise, but there is plenty about Solar Energy society is yet to know.
Here are 8 Facts about Solar Energy that may or may not surprise you.
Did you know that 174,000 terawatts of sunlight (or photons) hit the Earth every day?
This means that one hour of sunlight is enough energy to power the Earth for a complete year!
A natural, forever accessible resource, solar energy produces no pollution while producing electricity.
After sunlight, the second most important component in producing Solar Energy, is the Solar Panel itself. Silicon, is the most common semi-conductive material used in Solar Cells. With 95% of today’s sold Solar Panels including it. What’s more, just like Solar Energy itself, it is widely accessible and renewable.
According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, Silicon, is the seventh-most abundant element in the universe. It is also the second-most abundant element on the planet, after oxygen. I think it’s safe to say Solar Energy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon!
History shows that using Solar Energy for light, warmth and heat started as early as the 7th century BC. Where by using a magnifying glass to direct sunlight, humans were able to start a fire.
“Sunrooms” were another early use of solar energy. Sunrooms used massive windows to direct sunlight into concentrated areas, to capture warmth. Even at this early point in the history of Solar energy, south-facing areas of buildings were the most desirable location for a Sunroom.
It was Swiss Scientist, Horace-Benedict de Saussure, who designed and created the world’s first solar collector cell in 1767. However, it was in 1839 That Edmund Bacquerel uncovered the potential of the photovoltaic effect. The technology behind Solar Panels and how solar energy works.
However, we cannot talk about the History of Solar Energy without mentioning Albert Einstein. As it was Einstein’s 1905 papers, on the Theory of Relativity and the Photoelectric Effect, which brought the world’s attention to Solar Energy and its’ potential.
Did you know this is the same effect used in Photosynthesis? When light hits the material (both flowers and solar panels) use chemical reactions to transform or change energy from the sun.
As of 2017, Solar energy has become one of the cheapest energy forms in the world. By 2019, the cost of electricity from solar energy fell by 13%. Making it cheaper than fossil fuels at just five pence per kilowatt-hour!
In 2020, The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated this year that the cost per megawatt to build solar plants is below fossil fuels worldwide for the first time. Renewables are also expected to surpass coal as the primary means of producing electricity by 2025. As almost 90% of new electricity generation in 2020 was in fact powered by renewables.
Solar PV is now consistently cheaper than new coal or gas-fired power plants in most countries, and solar projects now offer some of the lowest cost electricity ever seen,”IEA said.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), when comparing the prices of Solar PV in the last 10 years (2010-2019), discovered that the cost of Solar PV had globally decreased by 82%. This cost will continue to fall as the technology improves and becomes more accessible.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the average UK home with a Solar Panel System installed could reduce carbon emissions by 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes per year depending on where you live. That is enough carbon emissions to charge 607,904 Smartphones.
The World Health Organisation estimates that 4.2 million deaths a year occur due to air pollution. As Solar Energy is clean energy and reduces carbon emissions, implementing it could significantly reduce this environmental and health risk.
Did you know that as of 2015 there are approximately 426 Solar Farms located across the UK? Crazy Right?
First opened in 2014, and expected to run for 25 years, Chapel Lane Solar Farm in Dorset is the largest in the UK. On the whole, it provides enough electricity to meet the demand of approximately 60,000 homes in Bournemouth.
A Solar Farm in the countryside of Dorset, will soon be powering London’s Square Mile with Solar energy. The 95,000 Solar Panel Farm will generate enough green electricity to power 15,000 homes. Equalling half the energy required to run the Square Mile’s historic Guildhall buildings, the Barbican arts centre and Smithfield market.
In 2018, Renewable energy generated 33% of the UK’s energy, 3.9% being Solar Energy. The record for the most amount of renewable energy powering the UK in a single day, occurred on Easter Day 2021. Where 60% of all electricity is derived from Solar and Wind power.
The solar capacity in the UK is forever rising. Increasing from 5,488.6 MW in 2014 to 13,100 MW in 2018 (The 3rd Highest in the EU) to 13,259 MW in June 2019. This Solar capacity is set to rise up to 15,674 MW by 2023!
The UK has the capacity to power as many as 3 million households using Solar Panels alone! If you would like to find out more about getting a Solar Panel system installed give Deege Solar a call today, at 01322 479369. In 2020 alone, our team installed 875 Home Solar Panel Systems. To join the Solar revolution simply send us an enquiry and we will reply to you as soon as possible.