There are a few important reasons why solar power is the fastest growing and most promising energy sector of the 21st century. It’s ability to harness energy directly from the energy of the sun has ushered a new and forever desired thing- infinite and eternal energy.
Solar power has brought the most revolutionary and ever desired energy source for modern civilization as it is practically infinite and also eternal for humankind. However, it has some disadvantages too along with its advantages.Solar power is the technology to harvest energy from sunlight. The photon beams of light can supply energy to the solar panels. This energy is converted to electrical energy and can be stored in batteries. Solar power directly relies on the availability of sunlight.
If sunlight is available, then so is the power supply. If it is night or cloudy, the energy output is almost zero. So it is a real time source of energy which completely relies on sunlight.The most disadvantageous part of modern energy sources is that these sources cannot supply infinite amount of energy for eternal period. They also cause environmental pollutions and need constant maintenance and supervision. However, some of them are quite efficient and reliable.
Scientists realized that solar energy is practically infinite and eternal, as the sun will radiate energy for a few billion years more. So they developed the technology to harvest the energy from sunlight. This eliminates the problem of limited and finite energy.
It also produces zero environmental pollution. Maintenance cost is very low for solar energy. It is easily transportable and can be set up by amateur electricians. After primary installation, it costs very few amount of money for small and compact maintenance. Modern research has provided us with a moderately efficient solar panel technology which is enough for primary household needs. All these things sum up to a massive demand and future prospect for solar energy.
As a result, more research and development is being done to provide better solar panels to supply more energy at low cost. Solar panels are commonly used for these reasons.It seems like that solar power has the brightest future as it is seemingly perfect. However, the reality is far from different. It has more than enough disadvantages that rules out its possibility to be used for factories or large scale production facilities. Even now, it cannot completely meet the demands of modern houses with a lot of power hungry electrical appliances like air conditioner, washing machines and room heaters running all day long. This is due to the fact that solar energy is very inefficient.
Most modern panels can only use 15% of the light that fall on it. Solar panels are very expensive and need periodic battery replacements. Another important fact is that solar power depends on direct sunlight. It cannot generate power when it is dark or sunlight is unavailable due to clouds or other atmospheric phenomenon. These are the major drawbacks for solar energy.As a result, it would need solar panels covering a football field to supply power for a small scale factory. It would also need large batteries and shades to keep them protected.
Moreover, modern battery technology is not capable of storing huge amount of energy and also function for a long time. Most of the places on earth also do not have constant sunlight for a long period. Most of the places have only 6-8 hours of daylight available to generate power on summer days. Moreover, the initial panel installation costs are so high that it is still expensive in the long run even though no further electricity cost is needed in near future.
All these factor makes one thing confirm that solar power is far from being the complete energy source of planet earth. Far more research and development is needed to generate required power at a sustainable rate at low cost.The most hopeful thing is, science and technology can provide us solutions for problems associated with solar technology.
If we can develop highly efficient panels and batteries, we may overcome dependency on sunlight drawback. If solar power can be used for all purposes, environment pollution may come to almost near zero. It may need long time research, development and more attempts, but it surely will deliver satisfactory results in future. We can expect that within 2050, solar power will be developed to such a level that it will be used to power not only households and small sectors, but also to power large scale factories and other sectors. Then, the term solar power is the eternal and infinite energy source will be very much justified.