The energy crisis is now significant than it ever was. With rising rates of conventional fuels like coal and petroleum, added to their dwindling reserves, the boom of renewable resources now seems much more inexorable in the near future. This calls for major research and development in futuristic fields. According to global statistics, the growth in electricity involving conventional energy has been slowing down for the past four years. This has been concomitant with the rise in non-renewable energy source exploitation. Riding on top of environmental concerns and the clean & green energy revolution, of all the renewable energy sources, solar power has been the most to be benefitted.
The global boom in solar power generation has been steady over the past decade. Statistics show solar power generation in 2016 (295 GW) to be more than four times than it was in 2011 (71 GW). Although having a considerably lower share (1.6%) in the total energy generated, this is predicted to rise in the coming decade as fossil fuels and fossil fuel driven industries taking the leap towards renewable energy. Developed countries have shown a higher percentage of increase in solar power generated, with China being the fastest to incorporate solar power generation.
Although the total potential for solar energy is much less than that of wind energy, solar energy has a very significant advantage over wind energy. Unlike wind energy generation plants, which are expensive to set up and maintain, solar energy plants are very easy to set up and do not require a separate allocated region. Including domestic solar power generation will increase the total energy generation multifold. Solar energy, owing to its cheap installation cost and maintenance cost, has been quick to become domesticated. Adding to cost, solar generation plants can be scaled to any area, be it as large as a football field to as minimal as a rooftop.
An important point to note is that solar power generation suffers from the same disadvantage as wind energy, i.e., climatic conditions. That has been more or less the only downside to a full-blown acceptance of solar energy. Since solar plants are not as effective in cloudy or rainy sky conditions, it may not be suited for all regions. As a majority of urban regions experience good annual solar irradiation, this disadvantage is more or less superfluous.
The domestic solar power sector is now dominated by PV cell based generation, which is used for an eclectic range of purposes. Starting off at water heaters, the domestic sector has been quick to transform into a non-specific power generation source. The scientific advancement in solar power efficiency has also been similarly productive with a multitude of research to incorporate different techniques to maximize total captured solar power being underway in several parts of the country. Solar power, being environmentally clean and residue-free, is less taxed than conventional fossil fuels, hence having also an economic edge over its non-renewable counterparts.
Solar energy, being a sustainable, renewable, non-residual form of energy, is critical in the development in the field of clean energy generation. It is seen as the herald to initiate the global transformation from non-renewable energy sources to a renewable and environment-friendly energy source. Its development merely indicates a conscious effort to reduce the anthropological footprint on nature and to bring on a pollution-free future.