Solar power is essentially the conversion of the energy from the sun to usable electricity. The most common source of solar power utilizes photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. These photovoltaic cells utilize a semi-conductor to absorb the radiation from the sun and when the semi-conductor absorbs this radiation it emits electrons, which are harnessed as electricity. The picture on the right depicts a similar setup to the same way the home rooftop solarpanels work. Energy is harvested from the sun and turned to usable electricity. The home uses the electricity as needed and any excess is sent to the grid and the homeowner is credited or payed for the contribution.
Solar Power Contribution
As Japan is the fourth largest energy consumption nation, it is vital that they start to look into sources of energy other than the nuclear power that they have relied on for many decades. Since the early 2000s, solar power has started gaining ground and has continued to grow into being a prime renewable energy resource for Japan. By 2012, Solar power was the third largest renewable energy resource for the country, and by the looks of it, could be responsible for generating more energy than biomass in the next decade at its current rate of growth. Part of the reason for the rapid growth of solar power is due to the Feed-in-tariffs which was discussed in detail in my previous webinar. But a FIT essentially means that Japan will pay for energy that is produced and fed into the energy grid. In this case, many Japanese residents have taken up on this initiative and started to install solar cells on their roofs.
Last year, Japan had a total capacity of 23,000 GW which was a growth of 20 times ...
... middle of paper ...
...ll be met with solar PV.
Generating Solar Power in Space
Japan’s space agency JAXA has ambitious goals to develop the technology to transmit electricity wirelessly. The goal of their Space Solar Power Systems (SSPS) project is to create a 1.2 mile long screen of solar panels which will collect sunlight in space and use microwaves to beam the energy down to earth. Solar panels that are not affected by weather and gathered by a Space Solar Power System (SSPS) positioned to constantly face the sun are able to generate an estimated 10 times as much power as Earth-based solar panels. So far, the experiment has been successful in converting 1.8 kilowatts of electricity into microwaves and transmitting it over a distance of more than 180 feet to an antenna where it was converted back into electricity. It is with anticipation that by 2030 this project will become a reality.
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