Solar power is not simply used to power human homes and businesses: Solar power is used to power the earth. In fact, solar power has been the main source of energy for the earth since time began.
Without solar power, there would be no photosynthesis, no rain, no wind, and no current. Today, people are coming up with many ways to harness the power of the sun. Improving the designs of solar cells to more efficiently transform solar energy into electricity is an example of this.
Of course, solar power is the source of many other forms of renewable energy as well:
• Wind Power – Wind turbines are becoming a popular source for alternative energy. Yet solar power actually plays a large part in creating wind power. When the energy of the sun acts upon the oceans and on the atmosphere, winds are produced. These are the winds that make ships sail and windmills turn.
• Hydroelectric power – Without the sun, it would not be possible to have hydroelectric power either. The water of the earth is a continuous cycle. The sun evaporates water from the oceans, and it later falls as rain. The rain then returns to the oceans by streams,rivers, or seeping into the ground. Modern turbines use these waters to create electricity.
• Biofuel – The sun is extremely important in the process of photosynthesis. All plants rely on the sun. They convert solar energy into chemical energy. So, in the creation of biofuels (such as ethanol or wood for burning,) energy from the sun remains a key source.
• Geothermal power- This power is extracted from heat stored in the earth. Geothermal energy originates from the formation of the planet; radioactive decay of minerals and solar energy which is absorbed at the surface and is contained in underground reservoirs of steam, hot water, and hot dry rocks. Geothermal energy processes work in many different ways, which allows you to harness different amounts of energy for different locations and needs. It is used for heating and generating electricity.
These are just a few of the lesser known ways in which solar power is used. In a sense, solar power has been used for centuries, at least indirectly. Without the sun, we would not even have such things as natural gas or coal.