What is photovoltaic?
Photovoltaic refers to property of certain semiconductors like silicon to convert solar radiation into direct current or DC electricity. Many cells containing photovoltaic materials can be arranged in a such a way so as to charge a battery or run a television. Production of photovoltaic energy has been doubling every 2 years, increasing by an average of 48 percent each year since 2002, making it the world’s fastest-growing energy technology.
The need for ‘Green’ energy
Due to the greenhouse effect, the industrial revolution as well as rising carbon dioxide levels, the mean temperature of the earth is rising exponentially. This rise in temperature has led to the extinction of several species of animals and plants but even more worryingly, it has led to the melting of glaciers and ice reserves causing sea levels to rise. These changes in the climate and topography of earth will result in the frequency as well as magnitude of both man made as well as natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, cyclones etc. Also fossil fuel reserves of the earth are estimated to finish in 20-30 years, enough time for a green revolution
Green energy and Photovoltaic
Photovoltaic energy is currently being touted by many experts as the ‘next big thing in green energy’ because-
- · It will create almost limitless energy forever without any drawbacks or any emissions
- · The amount of solar energy received by the sun is at average of 1Kw per m2
- · Since the sun wont die out any time soon, and the life time of a solar cell is atleast 30 to 35 years there is no maintainence cost as well
- · The price of solar panels has dropped by almost 50% in the last few years
- · Government incentives like the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in india also help boost the solar industry