How Much Potential Does Solar Power Has?

How Much Potential Does Solar Power Has?
Solar power potential

Overview:

In addition to being a free source of energy, solar energy is nearly unlimited. The Earth's surface gets an average of 343 W/m2 of solar energy. When we multiply this by the Earth's surface area, which is around 5x1014 m2, we get 1715x1014 W. However, because 30% of this is reflected and only 30% of the Earth is above sea level, the useful solar energy humans get on the terrestrial surface is around 360x1014 W. We need to decrease this even more since not all of the land surface is acceptable for the installation of solar PV panels—we don't want to take down trees, and ice-covered parts are not ideal—so we reduced the area in half. This quantity of solar energy adds up to 66x1022 joules over the course of a year. In 2018, we consumed approximately 600x1018 joules of energy, which is less than 0.1 percent of the harvestable solar energy we receive on the property. This indicates that even if we took all of our energy from the sun, we wouldn't even scratch the surface of the total! The potential is enormous-10,000 times what we require!

How Much Energy Does The Earth Receive From The Sun:

In the upper atmosphere, the Earth gets 174 petawatts (PW) of incoming solar radiation (insolation). Approximately 30% is reflected back into space, with the remainder absorbed by clouds, seas, and land masses. At the Earth's surface, the spectrum of solar radiation is predominantly visible and near-infrared, with a minor portion in the near-ultraviolet. The majority of the world's population lives in places with insolation levels ranging from 150 to 300 watts/m2, or 3.5 to 7.0 kWh/m2 per day.

Variables such as location, temporal fluctuation, cloud cover, and the quantity of land available to humans restrict the amount of solar energy that we can get, the potential solar energy that humans could consume differs from the amount of solar energy existing near the planet's surface.

Geographical factors influence solar energy potential. The places closest to the equator receive more solar radiation. On the other hand, the use of photovoltaics that can track the position of the sun can considerably boost the solar energy potential in places further from the equator. Because there is less solar radiation on the Earth's surface for solar panels to capture during the night, the potential of solar energy is affected by temporal fluctuation. The quantity of energy that solar panels can absorb in a single day is thus limited. Cloud cover can lower the potential of solar panels by blocking incoming light from the sun and so reducing the amount of light accessible to solar cells.

How Much Energy Does The Earth Receive From The Sun

Furthermore, the availability of land has a significant impact on the available solar energy since solar panels can only be installed on ground that is otherwise unoccupied and ideal for solar panels. Roofs are an ideal location for solar cells since many people have learned that they can gather electricity straight from their homes in this manner. Other sites that are excellent for solar cells include lands that are not being used for enterprises but may be used to develop solar plants.

The United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the World Energy Council published an estimate of the potential solar energy that humans could use each year in 2000, taking into account factors such as insolation, cloud cover, and the amount of land that is usable by humans. Solar energy has a worldwide potential of 1,600 to 49,800 exajoules (4.41014 to 1.41016 kWh) each year, according to the study.

Solar Energy Potential In India:

India has a large amount of solar energy potential. Approximately 5,000 trillion kWh of energy is incident over India's geographical surface each year, with most areas receiving 4–7 kWh per square meter every day. Solar photovoltaic electricity can be successfully harvested, allowing for massive scalability in India. Solar also allows for dispersed power generation and allows for a quick capacity increase with short lead periods. Off-grid, decentralized, and low-temperature applications will benefit rural electrification as well as address other energy demands for electricity, heating, and cooling in both rural and urban locations. Solar energy is the most secure of all energy sources since it is readily accessible. In theory, a small proportion of total incoming solar energy (if caught properly) can supply all of the country's electricity needs.

Solar energy has had a noticeable influence on the Indian energy landscape in recent years. Millions of people in Indian communities have benefited from solar energy-based decentralized and distributed applications that satisfy their cooking, lighting, and other energy demands in an environmentally friendly manner. The social and economic benefits include: reduced drudgery among rural women and girls engaged in long-distance fuel wood collection and cooking in smoky kitchens; reduced risks of contracting lung and eye ailments; job creation at the village level; and, ultimately, an improvement in the standard of living and the creation of opportunities for economic activities at the village level. Furthermore, over the years, India's solar energy sector has emerged as a prominent participant in grid-connected power generation capacity. It contributes to the government's vision of sustainable growth while emerging as a vital actor in meeting the nation's energy demands and ensuring energy security.

Solar Energy Potential In India

The National Institute of Solar Energy has estimated the country's solar potential to be at 748 GW, assuming that solar PV modules cover 3% of the waste land area. Solar energy has been prioritized in India's National Action Plan on Climate Change, with the National Solar Mission being one of the primary missions. On January 11, 2010, the National Solar Mission (NSM) started. The National Sustainable Development Mission (NSM) is a significant project of the government of India, with strong participation from states, to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India's energy security issues. It would also represent a significant contribution by India to the global effort to address the concerns of climate change. The mission is to build 100 GW of grid-connected solar power facilities by the end of 2022. This is consistent with India's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) target of achieving approximately 40% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030, as well as reducing the emission intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35% from 2005 levels.

India just surpassed Italy to take the fifth global position in solar power installations. Solar power capacity has more than doubled in the previous five years, rising from 2.6 GW in March 2014 to 30 GW in July 2019. Solar tariffs in India are now highly competitive and have reached grid parity.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Solar Energy?

Positive Impact on the Environment:

When compared to other energy sources, solar energy has the least negative influence on the environment. It emits no greenhouse emissions and does not harm the environment. It also requires extremely little water for maintenance, as opposed to nuclear power facilities, which require 20 times the amount of water. Solar energy generation produces no noise, which is a significant benefit given that many solar installations, such as household solar panels, are located in metropolitan areas.

Reduced Electricity Bills:

Reduced Electricity Bills

You will need less power from the utility provider if you generate your own. This will result in instant savings on your energy cost. You may also earn money by selling the unused power you generated back to the grid. You may increase the value of your green investment by taking advantage of available solar panel grants. The more energy you create, the less you will require from the source, increasing your energy self-sufficiency.

Energy Production During Peak Hours:

Energy consumption is often highest between 11:00 and 16:00, and then again in the early evening. Naturally, this is the time when the price of power reaches its peak. Solar energy happens to be at its peak output potential during those hours. Electricity generated at that time has a higher value than electricity generated at night. Prices in such time windows might be pushed down to near-night levels with the increased electrical input of solar energy.

Less Electricity Lost During Long-Distance Transport:

Some energy, around 3-5 percent, is wasted during transit and distribution. The greater the distance between the places of production and supply, the more energy is wasted. These losses may not appear to be considerable, but they might have an impact on the installation's performance in densely populated areas. Having solar panels on the roof or in the yard minimizes this distance greatly, enhancing the solar panels' effectiveness.

Improves Grid Security:

When there are multiple power plants spaced out, the grid is less prone to blackouts. A system with a high solar energy penetration contains hundreds of energy production centers that are widely dispersed. This increases grid security in the event of an overload or natural or man-made calamity.

Future Possibilities Of Solar Energy:

Future Possibilities Of Solar Energy

In a decade, solar energy has come a long way. In 2010, the worldwide market was limited and heavily reliant on government subsidies in countries like Germany and Italy. This year, more than 115 gigatonnes (GW) of solar power will be deployed worldwide, which is more than all other generating methods combined. It is also becoming increasingly affordable, particularly in sunny locations where it has already surpassed coal as the least expensive method of new power generation.

Solar power will become even more affordable in the future as technology advances. Solar might become the most important source of energy for power production in a vast area of the planet by 2030. This will also benefit the environment and combat climate change. Going forward, the solar sector has very defined cost-cutting roadmaps in place, with solar costs expected to be cut in half by 2030. There is already a trend toward higher-efficiency modules that can generate 1.5 times the power of current, similarly sized modules utilizing a technique known as tandem silicon cells. These will have a significant influence in the future.

Furthermore, there are industrial advancements in the works that will reduce the amount of expensive materials required in the construction of solar cells, such as silver and silicon, as well as innovations like bifacial modules, which allow panels to collect solar energy from both sides. Another significant breakthrough is how to effectively incorporate solar energy into our homes, companies, and power infrastructures with the help of efficient tools like the solar structure design software. This entails more powerful electronics and a higher reliance on low-cost digital technology.

This means that in many regions of the globe, solar energy will achieve a levelized cost of energy that will make it unmatched in comparison to fossil fuels. Given that solar power is so simple and quick to install, not to mention adaptable—after all, solar can power anything as little as a watch or as vast as a metropolis—solar installations should increase over the next decade.