Some of the recent
developments in the field of solar energy have the ability to
completely change the way the world produces energy. These solar
may allow humans to finally completely get rid of the need to burn
fossil fuels to create energy, which will lead to a huge decrease in
the amount of CO2 emissions and environmental pollution that is
currently wreaking havoc on our planet.
We will have a look at
some of the most exciting pieces of solar energy news in the recent
past and show you how what kind of an impact these solar energy
developments can have on your life.
Solar Power Plants and
Solar Power Stations
One of the most common
pieces of solar energy news in recent times has the rapid boom in the
construction of solar
power stations that has been occurring around the globe.
In the past decade, the amount of energy that is generated annually by
solar power stations has risen exponentially as more and larger scale
solar power plants have been constructed worldwide.
Companies in Europe,
India, China, and the United States have all built or started
construction on some of the most technologically advance, highly
efficient solar power stations. The record for the world’s largest
photovoltaic solar power station has changed hands numerous times in
the past decade as larger and larger plants continue to be
As of the time of writing,
the current record for the largest solar power station in the world
belongs to the Andasol power station in the Andalusia region of Spain,
although this is probably only temporary as there are several power
stations either in the planning or construction stages which will dwarf
the size on Andasol. This power station is actually a large solar
which uses thousands of parabolic mirrors to reflect the sun’s energy
onto a focal point.
The energy is then used to
heat water to produce steam, which in turn powers a steam turbine to
thus create electricity. This system was only recently put into
operation: in December 2011. The current record holder for the largest
photovoltaic solar power station is known as Perovo and is located in
The second largest is in
Canada, but Europe still is by far
the leader in this category with eight of the ten largest PV power
stations being located in Europe, mostly in Germany and Spain.
The most recent solar
energy news dealing with power stations is about the absolutely massive
scale projects that are being planned in China and India.
If even only
a few of these planned solar power stations are actually built, it will
be a massive step towards overcoming these countries reliance on fossil
Increased Efficiency Solar
Cells That Cost Less to Produce and to Purchase
Some recent solar energy
developments that have a much more immediate impact on the consumer is
the continuing development of higher efficiency solar cells and the
development of new
technologies that allow for solar panels to be produced
much more cheaply as well.
These developments have
revolutionized the solar energy world and made the solar panel market
much more competitive which has driven the prices of solar panels down
even further. What this means for the average consumer, is
that you will now have to spend around half of the amount to have a
complete solar kit installed than you would have a decade ago.
Solar energy was once
thought of as mainly a dream because it was far too expensive to be
economically feasible for anything but the largest corporations. This
no longer has to be the case, as there are many very cheap forms of
solar power available, as well as many do-it-yourself
solar plans to make solar energy much more accessible to the
Nonetheless, this still
does not mean that solar energy does not require a large initial
investment, usually upwards of $20,000 for a complete solar system
capable of generating enough energy to power a smaller home. However,
your solar system will pay for itself after just a few years with the
amount of money you will be saving on your electricity bill.
Another great solar energy
development is that most electricity companies offer a program known as
net metering for people with a solar system that is connected directly
to the local utility grid. Net
metering allows you to actually earn money for any excess
power that you produce.
Another recent piece of
solar energy development that is sure to have a large effect of
residential solar systems, is the development of a technology to
standardize the way in which photovoltaic solar systems are appraised
by realtors. In the past, if you wanted to buy or sell a house with a
solar system, then it was up to the individual realtor or appraiser to
determine the specific value of your photovoltaic array, and often
times they were grossly undervalued or even ignored
However, this will no
longer be the case due to the standard measuring system which has
recently been put in place in many places around the United States. Now
you have the tools to ensure that your solar unit will be correctly
valued, should you decide to sell your home.
Overall, most news about
solar energy is extremely positive and quite interesting. It is going
to shape the world in which we live in the future, and should be of
interest to any environmentally conscious person. A quick glance at the
newspapers can clue you in to some of the most exciting technological
developments of our time.
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