The Sun is a glowing ball of nuclear fusion high up in the heavens, which produces an incredible amount of energy. Some of that energy makes it to Earth, and even that fraction is still a considerable amount. For comparison’s sake, an average household uses 39 billion Joules of energy in a year, and the entire world uses roughly 410 quintillion Joules a year. To put that in perspective, that is 410 with 18 zeros behind it. However, the Earth receives 430 quintillion Joules from the Sun every hour, which is an incredible amount. This is a constantly renewable supply as the Sun is expected to last for another 5 billion years, but humanity is underutilising this astonishing power source.
There are substantial benefits to using the Sun as a form of alternative power. Solar panels are low maintenance, and they take advantage of the renewable nature of the Sun’s energy. Additionally, they are very environmentally friendly and has a low carbon footprint. However, there are also equally substantial reasons why it is not widely implemented. The most obvious is that solar power depends on the sunlight and hence, it cannot be harnessed during a cloudy day or at night.
Furthermore, battery technology has also to be improved to store this power effectively. Another downside is the high initial cost of producing and installing solar panels. With the advancement of technology, there is a brighter hope that solar power will be more widely adopted and accepted as a power source in the future.