The world has clearly become overpopulated as the human population increases every day, with the increasing population, power consumption has also increased; thus more polluting, and less diverse unlike in the earlier times (Twidell& Weir, 2015). People are altering the world for their benefits and causing uncertain changes such as global warming. The energy difficulty has become one of the greatest worlds concern. The demand for energy has increased, and the resources have decreased at an alarming rate (Aman, et.al, 2015). The natural resources take years to refill after misusing by people. Therefore, governments and individuals are working to renew most resources and limit the irresponsible use of natural supplies.
The expansion in energy emergency can be blamed for overconsumption of natural resources. For example, individuals have abused fossil fuel and coal which exhausted the natural assets. Overconsumption of fossil fuel has prompted pollution of the air which has caused the reduction of the ozone layer, consequently, a dangerous atmospheric deviation (Cameron & van der (Zwaan, 2015). Still, the world's population is expanding without any concerns. This implies that the interest for resources is developing. Interest for energy considering fuel and its items is climbing. It can be noticed that the generation of the fuel items reduces the energy resources everywhere throughout the world.
Energy is one of the primary substance used to sustain human beings on earth (Budischak et.al, 2013). The worlds population depends heavily on energy to produce food machinery and other basic life needs. However, the world relies heavily on the use of fossil fuel which is not a sustainable energy. Therefore, the need for renewable energy is imperative. Renewable energy refers to the energy collected from resources which can be naturally refilled. It includes sunlight, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat and often provides power in areas that include electricity, air cooling or heating, water cooling or heating, transportation and other energy services.
Renewable energy accounts for 19 percent of the global human consumption and 22% in the generation of electricity (Hafez & Bhattacharya, 2012). Notably, renewable energy can be found in many areas of the world, unlike the fossils fuels which are located in specific areas. People have turned to the green energy due to the alarming rates at which natural resources are getting depleted. The shift toward the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency is attributed to the economic benefits and the significant changes in the climatic conditions.
Governments and the environmental organizations nowadays are strongly encouraging for the use of green energy such as solar power and wind power. Evidently, an estimated number of 20 countries in the world have already fully implemented the use of renewables and consequently producing 20% to their total energy supply. Countries such as Iceland and Norway produce all their electricity from renewable energy. Other countries have already pledged to ensure that they have 100% renewable energy in the future (Tyagi et.al, 2013).
However, most countries have launched small projects mostly in the rural and remote areas which are best suited for the use and implementation of the renewable energy. According to Richardson (2013), most renewable energy is used in the form of electricity as it can be converted into many uses such as heat with no fear of losses. Renewable energy will make sure that energy is economically supplied, and the environment is conserved through less pollution.
Benefits of Renewable Energy
Evidently, most renewable energy, either directly or indirectly, comes from the sun. Solar power is used directly for heating and lighting homes, generating electricity, water heating, and other industrial applications. The sun heat is also used to drive the wind which is captured through wind turbines, then the wind and the sun causes the water to evaporate which then turns into steams which is used in hydroelectric power (Weitemeyer et.al, 2015). Another type of renewable energy is the geothermal energy that is obtained from the earths internal heat then this heat is used to produce electric power. Tidal energy is also a form renewable energy that comes from the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun upon the earth, and also is used in the production of electricity.
Solar energy is produced from the sun by capturing the suns energy. The solar energy use different types of technology such as solar heating, photovoltaics, concentrator photovoltaics, concentrated solar panels, and solar architecture (Verm & Kashyap, 2013). Solar technologies involve the use of active or passive solar depending on how the energy is captured, converted and distributed. Passive solar methods do not include mechanical or electrical devices, it is basically collect, save, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer in buildings (Paul, T, 2001). On the other hand, active solar technologies use solar collectors then convert the sunlight to electricity directly using photovoltaics or indirectly using concentrated solar power (Lin et.al, 2003).
Photovoltaic (PV) cells are another type pf solar panels. They are systems that convert light into direct electrical current (DC). The photovoltaic system takes advantage of the photoelectric effect to produce the electricity (Archer & Green, 2014).The technology behind the solar panels is old but has been improved significantly in the recent years (Berenguel & Rubio, 2012). The improvement of the solar panels has been due to the peak in the oil reserves and the climate changes which have led to the adoption of drastic measures. Research is still underway to come up with the best solar panels that can be used in heavy commercial production. PV panels are fitted depending on the geographical location that is latitude and the solar insolation. Installation design is affected by the tilt orientation and altitude so as to maximize solar exposure (Soutter et.al, 2014). However, some challenges affect the performance of the PV solar panels, and reduce their efficiency and output, such as shading and dust and snow accumulation. There are different types of solar panels and photovoltaic (PV) cells:
Monocrystalline Silicon (Single Silicon)
They are described as the most efficient solar panels. This is because when the sunlight hits the panels, most of it turns into electricity which is unlike many other solar panels. According to Yang et.al (2001), these panels have high silicon content. Moreover, the solar panels are easily recognized by an even external coloring and a uniform look.
Polycrystalline Silicon (multi-silicon)
They are also known as the poly panels. They have lower silicon content than the mono panels. Therefore, they are not expensive but are not as efficient as the mono panels. Hence, they are appropriate for big farms rather than the roofs of houses (Kamins, 2012).
BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics)
BIPVs almost look like the real roofing tiles. They are considered expensive and less convenient than the traditional PV. Additionally, they are less efficient in production of energy (Prasad & Snow, 2014).
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