Solar power is becoming a popular and cost efficient way to create energy around the world. Especially in regions that have plenty of sunlight, solar energy is likely to replace coal within the next couple of decades. Solar energy is becoming more cost effective and more practical than fossil fuels.
Solar power converts sunlight into energy. This is done directly through photovoltaics or indirectly through concentrated solar power. With photovoltaics, PV cells convert light directly into electric current. Indirect solar power conversion focuses large areas of sunlight into a small beam through lenses and mirrors. Solar power is used in businesses and residents typically through roof solar panels. Around the world, solar projects are being made that expand this power to provide energy to large regions, both residential and commercial.
The cost to build solar projects is costly, but as they are being developed in different regions of the world, the cost will eventually be far less than using coal for energy. Solar power ids the most cost effective in regions that receive a large amount of sunlight. Here are 5 regions in the world where solar power is going go outshine coal as a source of power.
The Indian subcontinent is one of the most populated areas in the world. Population continues to grow, and millions of people living in the region do not have access to any electricity. Currently, coal is the number one source of energy followed by gas and oil. In the long run, solar power would be more cost effective than importing fossil fuels for energy. With the population continuing to grow in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the governments and businesses in this region of the world hope to harness more solar energy to produce power for the people who live here.
The Indian region hopes to create solar projects over the next 5 years and to have solar power become the number one energy source in the region by 2040. The immediate cost is high, so there has been a major push to drive investments in the region and to overhaul the power infrastructure. Despite the immediate costs, the hope is that the resulting cost to harness the solar power will be far less than the cost of using coal and the cost of importing coal and other fossil fuels. Solar power will help millions of people living in the Indian subcontinent gain access to clean and affordable energy.
The drive to create large scale solar energy projects throughout Australia has been on for several years. Most areas of Australia receive plenty of sunshine, so converting that into power is a plausible goal. Many businesses and residents use solar panels to create efficient and cost effective energy.
In Queensland, particularly, there has been a large increase in the use of solar power over coal during the past decade. Today, the demand for fossil fuel energy is low as solar power use increases in commercial as well as residential use. The issue facing Queensland is that the government overbuilt coal plants. Now, the government has been caught off guard with decreased demand for coal. Australia is ahead of the game on harnessing sunlight for energy.
The Middle East is a prime region to use solar power because much of it is a desert climate with a lot of sunshine. There is a major drive in much of this region to use solar power or renewable energy. However, the region has a history of relying on gas and oil for energy. There is also uneven economic growth in the region as well as destabilization due to war and religious differences. However, in recent years, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, in particular, have begun major solar projects to bring efficient power to residents and businesses.
In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, The “Shams 1” project is well underway in what is called The Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Morocco has a major project in the Ouarzazate Province. This is where films like Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator, and the HBO series Game of Thrones are filmed. It is here that one of the world’s largest concentrated solar power complexes is under construction. The complex is being developed in 3 phases. It seems that solar power will outshine fossil fuels eventually in this desert region of the world.
The United States has had a growing solar power sector for many years. The energy source is already well established in California and Arizona. Other areas in the country are working to build solar power as an energy source. Some states are offering incentives for both residential and commercial use of solar power. Third party solar power lease incentives are being offered to businesses by firms including SolarCity and Sunries. Large utilities in the United States are adding renewable energy to their services.
Many states throughout the country have seen major growth in solar power use including Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana. Other states pushing solar power include New Mexico, Texas, Hawaii, Tennessee, Missouri, Maryland and New York. The solar industry is becoming a major employer in the United States. Solar energy is powering millions of homes in the United States as well as businesses. It is also reducing carbon emissions making a positive environmental impact.
Southern Europe is also seeing growth in the use of solar energy. The European Union hopes to see a 20% increase in solar power use by 2020. Photovolaic technology is being developed throughout Europe to harness the power of the sun.
Southern Europe has seen a much greater increase in solar power. Of course, this is due to much more sunlight availability than northern Europe. Malta and southern Spain, in particular, are producing more solar energy and less fossil fuel energy. As the European Union pushes for further development of renewable energy, it seems that Europe will continue to see more use of solar power in the next few decades.