- 1 Is solar energy renewable or non-renewable?
- 2 What is renewable energy?
- 3 How Is Solar Energy Produced?
- 4 How Has Renewable Energy Generation Increased Over The Last Few Years?
- 5 How Much Of The UK’s Energy Comes From Solar?
Is solar energy renewable or non-renewable?
Since solar energy draws its power from the sun, it’s technically a renewable resource. However, solar panels are made from materials that come from the earth, so they are not endlessly renewable.
Solar energy is considered a renewable resource because it is never used up – unlike fossil fuels such as coal or oil, which are running out.
The sun has been around for billions of years and will continue to shine for billions more.
Solar energy is sustainable because we can always rely on the sun to provide us with power.
The main drawback of solar energy is that it only works when the sun is shining.
Related: The Latest Solar Panel Statistics
What is renewable energy?
A renewable energy source is one that can be used over and over again and will never run out.
Non-renewable energy sources are those that will eventually run out, such as fossil fuels.
Renewable energy sources include:
- Water (hydro).
Solar energy is renewable because the sun’s heat and light are always available. We cannot use up the sun’s energy – it will shine for billions more years.
Water (hydro) power
Water (hydro) power is renewable because water is always evaporating and condensing, creating the water cycle. We cannot use up or pollute all of the world’s water – it will keep recycling itself.
Wind power is also renewable – as long as the sun continues to shine and the wind blows, we will have a never-ending supply of wind energy.
Geothermal energy comes from heat deep within the Earth. This heat is renewable because it is replenished by the planet’s radioactive decay.
Biomass is anything that was once alive and can be used as fuel – wood, crop waste, and even garbage.
Although biomass is technically renewable, it can cause environmental problems if not managed properly.
As you can see, solar energy is a renewable resource that we can always rely on. It is an important part of a sustainable future!
How Is Solar Energy Produced?
Nuclear fusion occurs in the sun, producing solar energy. In the sun’s core, protons from hydrogen atoms violently collide and combine to form a helium atom, which is known as nuclear fusion.
This process, referred to as a PP (proton-proton) chain reaction, releases an incredible amount of power.
As the energy reaches earth, photons (electromagnetic radiation) bounce off the sun’s surface and travel through space.
When these photons hit a solar panel, they knock electrons loose from their atoms.
This flow of electrons is called an electrical current, and it’s what allows us to do work with solar power.
Solar cells are made from materials that allow photons to knock loose electrons and create an electrical current.
The most common type of solar cell is made from silicon, but there are also types made from cadmium telluride and copper indium selenide/sulfide.
Solar panels are made up of many solar cells wired together. They are usually mounted on rooftops or in open areas where they can receive direct sunlight. Solar energy can also
How Has Renewable Energy Generation Increased Over The Last Few Years?
By the end of 2020, renewables will be made up 29% of global electricity generation. In 2020, more than 256 GW of new capacity was added, an increase of nearly 10 percent in overall installed renewable power capacity, led by wind energy and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that doubling the share of renewables in the global energy mix by 2030 would save a massive amount annually in health-related costs and climate impacts.
How Much Of The UK’s Energy Comes From Solar?
Solar, according to the most up-to-date statistics, accounts for about 4% of the country’s overall electricity generation, up from 3.1% in 2016.
Solar energy is the UK’s third most abundant renewable resource, after wind power and biomass.
The United Kingdom is Europe’s third-largest producer of solar energy, behind Germany and Italy.