Solar energy, includes solar heating, solar thermal electricity and solar architecture, which can
make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent energy problems the world
now faces. Solar technologies are of two types as either passive solar or active solar.
The solar industry has had a long journey and still needs help. It started in 1884 with the
invention of photovoltaic cell by Charles Fritts. The solar energy panels now converts nearly
34 percent of the daylight that hits them into electricity and also this is so efficient that in some
places, it could soon make electricity cheaper enough to compete with power plants fueled
by coal and natural gas. Solar energy companies are trying a variety of way to fixed the cost
includes using materials other than silicon, which is the most common semiconductor using
in solar panels today. For instance, gallium arsenide, is used to makes flexible sheets of solar
cells which is highly efficient. The solar system works best when the cells receive direct sunlight
under a cloudless sky, and drops energy production significantly under any other conditions.
This involves using mirrors to reflect and focus sun rays, providing heat, which in turn helps
power to generate. Another way is photovoltaic panels, such as displays on the rooftop of
homes and office buildings are connecting 60 to 72 solar cells together covering them with
glass, enclosing them in an aluminum frame and adding and electrical junction box.
Residential solar installations are on the rise around the world. Germany, today is creating
4,150 Megawatts (MW) of electricity from photovoltaic resources. Similarly Spain comes
in at second at 640 MW. Japan stands on third at 318 MW and has a long term goal to cut
greenhouse gas by 60-80 percent by 2050 also provide subsidies and tax breaks for solar panel
makers. Americans are still far behinds in this industry as its domestic solar photovoltaic market
grew to a just 220 Megawatts, which is very much less to Germany. Siemens company, builds
solar power plants in North Carolina that can make enough solar panels annually to deliver six
megawatts of electricity. The company hopes to expand that to 30 megawatts by the end of
The International Organization for Standardization has established a number of standards
relating solar energy equipments for example, ISO 9050 and ISO 10217. We expect cheaper
and cheaper solar panels for many more years to come, as in China the cost of making solar
panels to around $0.96 per watt in 2011 and the cost will likely fall to $0.47 per watt in 2015.
The solar power energy revolution is taking place, thanks to creativity and public support. Now
we need politicians, private sector and government to get more seriously on board. we should
all be proud of the progress that have made in the movement toward energy efficiency but much
more needs to be done. The scientists tell us that if we do not reverse global warming, more
and more damage will be done to our planet in terms of floods, drought and extreme weather disturbances.