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The true power of solar energy - and Australia’s solar panels revolution

Posted by on 19 February 2014 | 83 Comments

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Take a quick walk around your neighbourhood, or any neighbourhood in Australia for that matter and you’ll notice a growing trend. More and more solar panels are showing up on more roofs right around the country, and for good reason. Or should we say…many good reasons.

Firstly, with so many people feeling the financial pressures of increased living costs, solar energy is proving to be a very effective answer to soaring energy prices.
It’s also a solution to the environmental and climate problems associated with traditional energy sources such as coal. Plus, it creates new jobs in communities where solar power is adopted.

solar panels with sun

So, what exactly is solar energy?

Solar energy refers to the energy that is generated by the radiation created by the sun. At any given moment, the sun emits into space many billions of watts of energy.
To be more precise with the estimates, scientists put it at around 3.86 x 1026 watts (that’s a figure that has 24 zeros following it) of energy that the sun generates at any given moment – with fluctuations of course due to solar flares, etc.
Thankfully, a fraction of that energy reaches Earth.


The difference a tiny fraction of solar energy can make on a sunny day

To give you an idea of just how much energy a tiny piece of earth receives from the sun, imagine for a minute a piece of earth that’s about the size of a smallish backyard swimming pool – 48sqm. If it’s a sunny day, with minimal clouds in the sky, for the six sunniest hours of a day, that small area of earth will receive approximately 288 kilowatts of energy – which equates to the daily energy requirement of not one, but 10 average houses!


Solar power can be generated even on a cloudy day

The same piece of ground on a cloudy day, will receive around 28 kilowatts of energy over the course of those six hours – still enough energy to power one house for a day!
Those solar panels you notice on the roofs of houses effectively capture the energy of the sun, and convert it into DC electricity. Without the need for dirty fuels and the increasing costs associated with those. It’s for this reason that companies are investing more time and money into improving solar panel technology, to help harness the renewable power that the sun provides.


What are the benefits of using solar panels?

When we talk to people who want and choose solar to provide the energy for their home, they see a wide range of real benefits that include, but aren’t limited to:

  • a reduction in normal electricity costs
  • an increased use of free energy captured by solar panels
  • a move away from dirty, costly energy to a renewable, cleaner source
  • an infinite amount of energy (at least until the Sun retires for good)
  • Government incentives to thank you for investing in the future of renewable energy.

If, like millions of other Australians, you’re worried about rising energy costs, or have been thinking about more environmentally sound ways to live, it would be worth taking a closer look at solar roof panels and solar energy options available.

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