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Renewable energy

Solar power

When it comes to renewable energy, the answer is staring us in the face! Vast amounts of energy for free.

Every day more solar energy falls to the Earth than the total amount of energy the planet's 5.9 billion inhabitants would consume in 27 years    (Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

The issue is how to go about capturing it for our own use in a practical, cost effective manner. Solar power has been regarded as an expensive form of renewable energy. However, the issue of climate change has resulted in a great deal of new research and rapid advances in the technology. More efficient, cheaper designs are now coming close  to the point where they are ready for use.

Next: Types of solar power: Solar thermal

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Can solar energy provide enough energy in practice? Many hot countries that currently supply energy from oil could supply electricity from solar power instead. Find out more