Solar power is one of the most renewable sources of electricity in the world. The sun shines almost every day, therefore providing photons to power the solar panels for as long as the sun still shines. It can lower your electric bills to a miniscule amount and it’s very friendly towards the environment. Did you know that scientists at the German Fraunhofer Institute broke the world record for the most efficient solar cell? Their design uses a new cell structure containing four solar sub cells to become 44.7% efficient.
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According to Eco Info in 2009, at the rate we are using fossil fuels at; we have an estimate of 46 years of oil, 63 years of natural gas and 119 years of coal. However if every Canadian home and every home across the world had solar panels they wouldn’t need to use fossil fuels to power their homes. Everyday solar panel technology is becoming much more efficient. “Every minute the sun bathes the Earth in as much energy as the world consumes in an entire year.” — (US Department of Energy web site, 2010). Now by harnessing this amount of energy the worldwide energy crisis will be solved.
Currently there are different types of technologies and machineries that are capable of harnessing solar energy; some of them include solar heater, photovoltaic cells, and concentrated solar power generators. Surprisingly, utilizing solar energy is not a modern invention. Many years ago, for centuries the ancient Chinese, Romans and the Greeks had used different architectural settings to passively use solar energy to heat, cool and light their homes and other buildings (Hoffman 1052). Nowadays similar form of architecture is still in use that takes advantage of the suns position to insulate buildings. Most of the solar powered technologies were invented in the late 20th century, but because of an abundance of fossil fuel and more efficient alternatives only one solar technology, photovoltaic cell also known as solar panels, was able to flourish.