Solar energy, as we all know, is one of the best ways to achieve energy independence and generate emission-free electricity for a greener world. The amount of energy beamed down in the form of sunshine is so large that researchers state that the amount of energy striking the earth from the sun in an hour is sufficient to power the entire world for a year. Quite obviously, we cannot install solar panels on every square inch of the planet and hence, in order to generate a substantial amount of energy, we have to place photovoltaic panels of install solar thermal plants in areas where sunshine is ample. Here are some of the best and the most suited places to harness solar energy.
The amount of solar energy generated by an installation is largely dependent on the amount of sunshine the installation receives. Obviously, solar panels won’t produce much during rains and overcast conditions, which makes deserts the go to location if you’re looking to generate any substantial energy from your solar installation. Deserts are dry and sunny and perfectly suited for large-scale solar installations. The only drawback here is that solar panels tend to get a little inefficient as they heat up and hence, in case of a desert solar installation, a utility company has to plan cleaning and cooling systems to generate maximum output.
Mountainous terrains are cooler, less sandy than deserts and have a decent number of sunny days in a calendar year, which makes them a great option for solar installations. Moreover, since mountains don’t have as much shortage of water as deserts, cleaning installations in such a location is far easier. The only drawback here is the chilly winter season, together with rapidly shifting climatic conditions, which reduces the yearly energy output of an installation.
If you’re looking to generate a reasonable amount of renewable energy around your home, look no further than the ample empty space of your house’s roof. This is what Elon Musk recognized when he invested in SolarCity, a company that designs, installs and finances rooftop installation of solar panels. This helps individuals easily generate renewable energy without worrying much about the upfront cost of installation.
The present age, which is largely dependent on fast commutation and communication, there are hundreds of thousands of miles of highways all over the world. Hence, researchers with an environmental focus state that one of the best ways to generate ample solar energy without building specific infrastructure for the installation is to make use of existing infrastructure, such as highways for the job. As an additional benefit, the energy generated by highways can also be used to power highway lights and even electric cars in the near future.
Since solar power needs ample sunshine and no clouds, the best place to harvest this renewable form of energy is outer space. There is no dust in space which can cover solar panels and neither does the space have any clouds. Hence, researchers are considering an ingenious plan to launch a large collection of solar panels into the low earth orbit where it can generate a large amount of energy and beam all that harvested energy in the form of microwaves or laser to a ground-based energy receiving station. This station in turn will convert the microwaves or the laser-beamed energy back into usable electricity to power your home. The only factor holding the project back is the exponential upfront cost of building and launching an entire solar installation into space.