Renewable energy accounted for around 40% of Australia’s electricity in 2023. This is a step up from 2022...
There is a breakthrough to be discussed in a future blog, The History of Solar. This is not one of scientists, this is one for the everyday people of the world, whose lives are surrounded by work and self-maintenance, who strive to live to an old age, to share their stories and pass down their legacy. This is a breakthrough for those that can’t be focused on the entire history of everything.
Perhaps the Bill Brysons of the world, who spend years meticulously researching our universe, planet, prehistory, evolution, and history will read this and spit their coffee at how absurd it is to call this news. However, it is abundantly clear that the media portrays solar technology as a new feat, while solar has played a large part in all of human history.
Yes, the silicon wafer technology that goes into the solar panels we know and love has only really existed since 1954, and only been used practically since 1958, and that being for application in outer space. And yes, it took close to another thirty years for solar cells to really become practical for the everyday consumer to power household appliances. Furthermore, the relevance of solar as a renewable electricity source has only truly entered the household conversation by the 2010s and has only really begun dominating conversation in the most recent few years, the roaring 20s.
Despite our present conversation, the sun has existed since long before life even formed, and as we evolved from plants and bacteria into fish, exited the water and crawled to land, became hairy and adaptive, shed our hair, and began to think deeply, we started to notice the strange fiery ball in the sky, a long time ago. Our documented ideas developed from burning things with magnifying glasses and mirrors to heating up rooms, as when sunlight passes through glass the surface of the room heats up, the heat fills the room and can’t escape through the glass. We began playing around with tiny versions of this, essentially miniature greenhouses that became hot enough to cook food in any conditions by only the heat of the sun, captured in a tiny box with at least one glass face and always otherwise surrounded by glass on other surfaces of the box, sometimes further insulated on the outside to preserve as much heat on the inside of the box as possible.
Finally with the discovery of the photovoltaic effect in 1839, then the initial development of selenium wafer solar cells between 1876 and 1883, and further into the 1890s, before being decided that they were far too inefficient, and leading us all the way to Bell Labs in 1954 with the creation of the first practical solar cell.
The evolution of solar technologies has been delayed repeatedly with each discovery of apparently abundant and cheap fuels, such as new forests or deposits of coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium. As each source dwindles, and we burn all our natural resources, repeatedly through time we turn to the sun. Thankfully, we have hit a crucial point in time that finally we muster the courage to consider and develop solar technologies. Solar architecture has also become an interesting and evolving topic, but perhaps one for another time, though truly fascinating for the future of living.
The topic at hand is why solar matters, there are three essential elements. Saving our planet, Earth’s resources, and cost of living. In short, solar matters as we must allow our future generations to live in this world with all the benefits of life that we have now, and pave the way for the longevity of our planet, to sustain our natural resources and find solutions to the problems of our planet, and we can do this while benefiting ourselves with the monetary savings on home electricity bills by installing solar systems on our roofs now. Eventually the whole world will be solar powered.
We must save our planet from the hazards caused by fossil fuels, like climate change and greenhouse gases. Much like the previously mentioned miniature greenhouses, that capture heat inside a glass box, when greenhouse gases release into the atmosphere, they trap the sun’s heat causing our planet’s temperature to rise. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, ozone, and water vapour. As heat makes its way through the atmosphere and back into space, greenhouse gases absorb much of it.
Carbon emissions are a large part of the problem, with the burning of carbon and fossil fuels releasing carbon or carbon oxides into the atmosphere that bond with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, for example.
These fuels are non-renewable and actively cause global warming and climate change.
By switching to renewable sources of energy, specifically solar energy, we actively save our planet from the hazard of global warming and climate change. We must harness the power of the sun to stop damaging our atmosphere and causing our planet to heat up.
We must use a source of electricity that will last as long as life exists instead of depleting non-renewable fossil fuel and carbon resources. The simple truth is that we are refusing our future generations the right to bid on our natural resources, by draining them completely. Only God can create more fossil fuels, and the harsh truth is that kind of help just isn’t the way of our universe.
Though silica mines, used to collect silicon dioxide (silica) that is converted into the raw silicon used for the production of solar cells for solar panels, seem to dig up entire plots of land, these resources still exist in the form of the solar panels on your roof or orbiting Earth on a satellite.
Solar power is completely renewable and does not drain us of our precious natural resources. This means that our future generations can live in a world where they have all the benefits of electricity that we take for granted.
You can save money on your electricity bills by using solar technology to power your home. Solar will eventually power everything. By making the renewable change, you are actively saving money on your monthly or quarterly home electricity bills. With a big enough system, you may be able to pay zero on home electricity bills.
To read more about how solar saves you money, for the Australian audience, check out this article! (How Solar Saves You Money)
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