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Solar power, also known as solar radiation or insolation, is
the energy radiated or converted from the sun in the form of heat and light.
This energy supports all life on earth, drives the Earth’s climate and weather
and is mainly responsible for the set of resources collectively known as
renewable energy. Solar power can be transformed in electrical and thermal
energy with the help of modern technologies.

A major part of the green living movement involves the use of
alternative energy sources to replace our consumption of traditional fossil
fuel generated electricity. As the source is eternal unlike traditional energy
sources, this energy can be vital to our modern life. The rate at which we are
destroying our traditional energy sources, it won’t be long till this world
craves for a new continuous energy source. Solar power can just be the key the
world needed.

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Solar power can be used to generate electricity to homes,
businesses and industrial structures. It can also be used to fuel a number of
different electronic devices, mills and factories. It may seem
bizarre, but solar power has become a trendy way to supply power to lighting
systems that activate after the sun goes down. From street lights to garden
lamps, solar power provides the energy needed to light up the darkness late
into the night. These lights include batteries that charge during the day as
sunlight hits the solar cells. At night, a photo-resistor detects the lack of
light and a circuit board triggers the batteries to discharge and grant power
to LED lights, which are efficient and bright.

Solar energy can be utilized in different ways, one is
photovoltaic cells or solar panels- found on things like spacecraft,
satellites,8 rooftops and handheld calculators. On a much larger scale, solar
thermal power plants employ various techniques to convert the sun’s energy to
useable ones.

Bangladesh is one of the leading countries in term of
installing highest number of Solar Home Systems, also known as SHS. With four
millions of the systems already set up, the country is also at the forefront of
nations using solar energy and promoting the use of renewable energy in place
of traditional fossil fuels. “Renewables 2017 Global
Status Report” noted- “As of 2016, more than 6 million SHS and kits were in function
worldwide, with 25 million people benefiting from them. Bangladesh, the largest
SHS market worldwide, now has more than 4 million units installed.” Currently, 2.86 percent
of all power generated in the country comes from renewable energy in the form
of solar power, according to power and energy ministry data.

Solar energy is eternal, but there are some pitfalls too.
Solar energy doesn’t work at night without a storage mechanism such as battery.
Cloudy weather can make the technology erratic. Besides, the cost of solar
panel implantation and its maintenance is very high. Solar panels may contain chemicals
and substances which can be toxic and contribute to air and water pollution when
leaked.

Community-based
solar movement such as solar irrigation pumps, solar mini-grid, and solar
street lights have the potential of benefitting the community people by
ensuring food and water security, enhanced socio-economic environment in
off-grid areas of Bangladesh.

Despite the drawbacks, solar energy use has flourished at
about 20 percent a year over the past 15 years. Developed countries are the key
markets for solar cells. But in recent years, it has gained recognition in both
developing and undeveloped countries. It is strongly believed that at the
middle of this century, solar energy will contribute half to the entire energy
source. Researches and attentions should be given more to how this energy can
be used in a more efficient way.

 

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