Solar Cities of The Present
Over the past years solar power became extremely popular. Both big companies and small households are trying to save money as well as cut their dependence on natural resources. However, as time goes by photovoltaic panels are getting even more promising. Today it is possible to find cities powered by solar energy alone. Sounds futuristic, yet this is just the first step.
Prevalent energy options
People always needed cheap, accessible, safe and stable way to supply their cities with energy resources. Long ago fire wood was more than enough to satisfy our needs, however, today nuclear plants have to work day and night to keep our megalopolises alive. Any human activity requires energy and the demand increases every instant. It is challenging to find optimum source of energy. Let’s investigate the most widely used ones.
- Fossil fuels are easily accessible yet they pollute surroundings and cause green-house effect. Moreover, market is not stable and easily influenced by business environment, changing market and political situation. Oil, coal and natural gas are slowly exhausted and it may cause deficiency in the future. If you plan to run a small business, you will have to consider these factors or else it may end up being unprofitable.
- Nuclear power is used almost everywhere these days. Even though it is relatively cheap and a lot safer than it was 50 year ago, there is still a threat. People should never forget about dangers of this kind of energy despite its indisputable advantages.
- Renewable sources of energy speak for themselves. They do not give off any contamination and it is impossible to run out them. On the other hand, producing electricity using wind, hydro-power, geothermal or biomass energy often costs a lot. Maintenance as well as a rather small amount of produced energy often makes people give up on Eco-friendly ideas. And yet scientists keep coming up with innovations that are bound to replace fossil fuels with sustainable sources of energy. Thanks to solar technologies, energy from the Sun is the most accessible and cheap among other green energy options.
But is it possible to run the whole town using solar energy alone? Surely, it is not that hard to find a couple of shiny PV panels covering rooftops around any city. Often people purchase solar systems to reduce dependence on public utilities and partially cut their bills. However, to give up on non-renewable sources of energy and change over to solar energy sounds like dream. And this dream came true in Fukuyama City, Japan.
Potential of Solar Energy
It is a daring project to power the whole area using only solar electric power systems. Everything from engineering to installation of photovoltaic cells requires profound knowledge, time and resources. Nonetheless, both private and public organizations in Fukuyama managed to achieve howling success. They have made an effort to utilize solar cells in every possible way. Imagine that electric cars have solar panels continuously producing energy to power the engine. What is more, they can store some of it so you can drive your vehicle at nightfall. But the true miracle is that they are able to transport this energy and power residential areas too.
Beyond all doubt, this is a breakthrough and a lot of solar companies think that tomorrow is with solar energy. They believe that these futuristic Eco-cities can change our world and save the nature around us. The use of PV modules is getting more and more popular while solar technologies are improved with every passing day. For now this project is way too costly to apply similar strategy all around. Yet the positive attention as well as environmental studies can attract both scientists and investors. Additionally, this example can inspire people all over the world to purchase solar panels and stop global warming.
Solar Technologies Today
Significant benefit of PV systems is that neither oil nor coal market can influence towns powered by sustainable energy. However, there are a few points designers of the futuristic cities must take into account. It is important to understand that this type of energy cannot be used anywhere. Some areas are too cloudy so PV panels will not be able to generate enough energy during the day. Certainly, almost all places on the planet have some kind of access to sun. Average house owners should not be scared of weather conditions if they plan to install photovoltaic system.
Solar cells can use both direct and scattered sunlight. This implies that residents can power their household appliances even when the sky is grey. Surely, PV system does its best when sun-rays can reach the surface of each panel. If you have solar batteries, it is even possible to store energy for future use or sell surplus to your local energy company. What is more, government often tries to motivate citizens to use green electricity instead of fossil fuels. This can surely benefit everyone, both people and surrounding environment.
Obviously, energy needs of a big city surpass those of an individual household. It can take an immense amount of energy to power everything from lighting to public transport. And let’s not forget about plants, stations and residential areas. But this is just the beginning. Developers of photovoltaic technologies keep coming up with promising ideas and they will definitely bring fruit in the immediate future.
For now, residential use of a photovoltaic electric system is more than enough to make a nice gesture towards our planet.