Green Your Home, Your Family and Your Life!

Green Your Home, Your Family and Your Life!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why Consider Solar Power?

Certain materials have a property known as the photoelectric effects. This property allows them to absorbs photos of sunlight and release electrons. Capture of these free electrons results in an electric current. Through photovoltaics, light is converted directly into electricity.

Solar power can be produced by heat engines or photovoltaics. Some applications for solar technologies include heating and cooling, potable water through distillation and disinfection, hot water, thermal energy for cooking and process heat for industrial purposes.

Solar energy can be scaled to individual use (such as solar cookers or rooftop panels used to heat a home), to communities, or to industry in the deployment of solar concentrating power arrays.

Solar technologies are characterized as either passive or active. Active uses photovoltaic panels or solar thermal collectors to convert solar energy to electrical energy.

Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the sun, selecting materials with thermal properties and designing buildings that take advantage of natural properties of insolation.

Deriving energy from solar power is 85 times more efficient than growing corn for ethanol. On a single plot of land, enough ethanol can be produced to drive a car 30,000 miles per year. If the same acreage was covered with photos cells, the car could be driven 2,500,000 miles per year.

Solar power has been developed since the 1950s. This technology has advanced due to its use in the space industry. The energy crisis in the 1970s brought the idea of using solar power to provide electricity for individuals and industries on Earth to the forefront.
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Why Should I consider Geothermal Energy?

The potential of geothermal energy worldwide is estimated at 50,000 times the world's oil and natural gas reserves. It could provide all of our energy needs worldwide for 30,000 years.

California generates the most electricity from geothermal energy with 2,555 megawatts of installed capacity, nearly 5 percent of its electricity. Most of this capacity is in an area called the Geysers, north of San Francisco. The Geysers is the largest dry steam field in the world. It has been producing electricity since 1960.

The United States is the world leader in generating geothermal electricity, much of which is used to power oil pumps. In Europe, Italy and Iceland produce the most geothermal energy.

Iceland is number one in the world in the percent of its electricity generated from geothermal energy.

A study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that an investment of about $1 billion in geothermal research and development over 15 years could lead to an additional deployment of 100,000 megawatts by 2050. This is about the same cost as building one coal-fired plant.
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