5 Exciting Trends for the Future of Solar Energy
By Dixie Somers
Solar energy is now the fastest growing energy source in America. This lessens reliance on fossil fuels, the resource that has been closely linked to carbon emissions and global warming. There are a number of innovations coming out that are designed to make solar energy even cheaper and easier to use, which makes the future of renewable energy look very sunny indeed.
1. Making it More Accessible
One of the biggest barriers to solar energy use is accessibility. It’s especially important to make solar energy more accessible for third world countries, who are currently the biggest consumers of fossil fuels – and therefore the biggest carbon emitters. The growth of these countries doesn’t have to come at an environmental cost. There are signs that this shift is happening: in India alone, tariffs for coal have fallen steeply, while in Africa there is great solar energy potential because of its location and wide, uninterrupted fields and deserts where the sun hits most strongly.
Companies that are working to bring solar energy to developing countries often focus on using this resource to power water pumps and serve as rechargeable batteries for lamps. Combined, this improves access to basic needs and has the implication for even greater innovation as the population of these areas makes the technology their own.
2. Making it Portable
Companies are starting to make mini solar chargers that can serve as a power bank for your phone or laptop. Some are even working to develop chargers that are easy to put against a plane window so you can recharge your device after a long trip. Now, solar energy can be integrated seamlessly into your lifestyle so it’s easier to transition away from fossil fuels. You can contact a company like AAA Solar Source for more information.
3. Making it Cheap
Solar energy is already the cheapest renewable energy source, but it’s possible to take that number down even further to make solar energy the logical choice. Solar cells are now starting to be made from a material called perovskite, which captures light and converts it into electricity. Perovskite is more flexible and can be more cheaply made than silicone which is currently the more popular choice for making solar cells. If your home already has some sort of solar energy system, perovskite cells can be integrated seamlessly so you don’t have to overhaul anything!
4. Making it Safer
A large concern about solar energy is installation. When the panels are installed incorrectly, this can make the building or device in question unsafe to use. Your roof can be made leak-proof by using “flashed” mounting that creates a barrier between the panel and the roof below. At this point it becomes a question of both time and money costs: flashed mounting is more expensive and takes longer to install.
5. Making it Easy and Fun
Any kids you might have or know can get in on the solar energy trend as well. There are many different simple activities that show children how simple it is to use this renewable energy source. The most popular activities are creating lights, mini vehicles, and stoves. Working with children in this area has significant ramifications for the future. As they grow up, they can already see the benefits of solar power and its efficiency.
With more companies and individuals jumping on the renewable energy bandwagon, solar power is getting much lighter, faster, and cheaper than ever. It can only get brighter from here.