Solar Energy - The endless power of the sun
The sun releases a tremendous amount of energy. Solar radiation is utilized to generate electricity in two ways: with thermal and photovoltaic applications. The first is solar energy collection for heat production (used mainly for heating water and converting it to steam for turbines). In contrast, in the second application, photovoltaic systems convert sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic cells or arrays. This technology, which appeared in U.S. space programs in the early 1970s, has reduced electricity costs, from $ 300 to $ 4 per watt. Photovoltaic systems are mainly used in rural and remote areas where the grid's connection is costly. Although the whole earth receives sunlight, its quantity depends mostly on the geographical location, the day, the season, and the cloud cover. For example, the desert gets about twice the amount of solar energy from other areas.
The growth of solar energy will lead to the expansion of renewable energy sources within the next ten years, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
According to the IEA's annual World Energy Outlook 2020, clean energy will account for 80% of global electricity demand growth over the next decade.
Hydroelectricity remains the largest renewable energy source, but solar is the primary source of ever-increasing energy, followed by onshore and offshore wind energy.
The development of solar energy will be supported by maturation policies and technologies that will allow very cheap access to capital in the leading markets.
According to the report, solar energy is consistently cheaper than new coal-fired or gas-fired power plants. In contrast, solar projects offer some of the lowest electricity prices ever recorded.