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Is Solar Energy Renewable or Non-Renewable?

Choosing a renewable energy source is critical when moving your home in a carbon-friendly manner. The question is, though, is solar energy renewable or non-renewable?
Solar Panels
5 minutes
Written by:
Joey Cheek
Updated on:
December 9, 2022

Is solar energy renewable or non-renewable? Choosing a renewable energy source is critical when moving your home in a carbon-friendly manner. The question is, though, is solar energy renewable or non-renewable? Though it may seem like a simple question, it's not always easy to know which products out there really will help the environment and which may be a bit more far-fetched. Here's the good news. Solar panel installation can help you transform your home into a green resource. Solar panels are renewable sources of energy for multiple reasons.

Why Is Solar Energy Called Renewable?

Solar energy is a renewable source of energy. It is one of the cleanest forms of energy available today and also happens to be one of the most abundant resources available. There are several reasons why solar is renewable energy.

First, solar energy does not contribute to global warming because it does not release any negative chemicals or toxins onto the planet. It does not produce greenhouse gasses as many burning fossil fuels do. That makes it one of the best renewable energy options available today. That is unlike non-renewable energy, like burning coal, which requires the creation of greenhouse gasses.

More so, solar is also readily available. By installing a solar energy system, people can harness the sun's power to get electricity for their homes. As a renewable resource, that means that solar energy is always available as long as the sun is shining.

How Is Solar Energy Renewable?

Generating energy using the sun makes solar panels a renewable energy form. Consider that solar energy works as the sun shines onto a solar panel. When that happens, the energy from the sunlight is absorbed by the panels themselves, which are often photovoltaic solar panels. The energy from the solar panels then causes an electrical charge within the panel, which stimulates electricity to flow, according to Energy.gov.

Consider a bit of a deeper dive. The light we see is solar radiation. This is also called electromagnetic radiation, and it is created by the sun. Every part of the planet receives some sunlight each year, though the amount and intensity of the sunlight range based on the location. Solar technology aims to capture some of this radiation and convert it into a useful form of energy.

What makes a solar energy system renewable is that the process of generating energy makes it possible without polluting the planet like other energy sources. The sun's rays do not emit greenhouse gasses, which makes it possible to create energy without worsening the planet's atmosphere as others do. Installing solar panels helps you to do your part in helping the environment.

What is a renewable energy source?

The term renewable energy source refers to any type of resource that occurs naturally that can be replenished over time. There are numerous examples of non-renewable energy costs. That could include things like natural gas, oil, and coal. It is not likely that the planet can produce more fossil fuels within the human timescale, making them non-renewable. These fuels took thousands of years to develop through the combination of heat and pressure.

But couldn’t the sun run out of power? That is a true concern because suns do die over time. According to NASA research, our sun is about halfway through its lifetime. That means there are about 4.5 billion additional years of life left from the sun – which is plenty to handle just about all of the world’s needs.

Is Solar Renewable or Non-Renewable, and Why?

When it comes to natural resources, there is no better option than the sun. It is one of the most reliable options for generating sun. While the sun’s heat is important for keeping the planet warm and livable, its rays are powerful in their ability to help generate light. As the sun shines, using solar panels with photovoltaic cells on them can help capture that energy, store it, and turn it into usable energy to provide electricity to the home.

Solar energy is very much renewable then because it is clean energy that is not likely to run out at any time. For those looking for green methods to generate energy, there may not be a better option than using solar radiation from the sun.

Is The Sun Non-Renewable Energy?

The sun's energy is a renewable form of energy simply because it does not run out. According to NASA, the planet is a solar-powered system. In fact, all of the planet’s surfaces absorb as much as 240 watts of solar power for each square meter of space. This means that the sun provides one joule of energy every second to the planet. The oceans, the land, and the atmosphere itself absorb this.

Solar radiation is then used in many important tasks throughout the planet, including helping to drive photosynthesis so plants can grow and to help warm the planet. Solar energy helps all living creatures, including reducing environmental impact, creating electricity for daily use, and helping to keep plants growing while also working to support the earth’s atmosphere.

Joey Cheek

What You Should Know About Solar Power and Green Energy

Solar energy is a very effective, natural, and green energy source, just like wind power, that does not contribute to global warming like fossil fuels. In that way, the investment in solar power through solar panels can be a very good decision, one that can help to reduce electrical energy dependency on traditional power plants and more towards renewable resources.

SmartSolar.org is helping people tap into these renewable resources through solar power. Learn more about the solar industry and how more solar panels than ever are being installed to support the growth of green energy and reduce the risk of global warming. Take a SmartSolar.org quiz to learn more and to get started.

Meet the author:

Joey Cheek

Joey Cheek spent 10 years on the US National Speedskating Team where he competed in two Olympic Games, winning gold, silver, and bronze medals. He attended Princeton before diving into the startup and tech world. In 2011 he launched a livestreaming platform for sports before leading a team of engineers building next-gen news and content apps for Fortune 100 companies. He is the CEO and co-founder of SmartSolar.org, whose mission is to move the earth to cheap, abundant, carbon-free energy.

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