Energy is divided into two types depending on their restriction on reuse, renewable and non-renewable. In this article, we will explain why is solar energy renewable.
Energy is considered renewable when energy from sources is replenished naturally on its own without any influence from the human timeline. Renewable energy is called clean energy because it comes directly from natural resources.
Before discussing solar energy as a renewable energy source, let us explains the significance of solar energy.
Energy from the Sun is used directly on Earth in the form of light or heat that can be used to do mechanical work.
Since the Sun is the source of all forms of energy, directly or indirectly, and the Sun radiates energy repeatedly without any limitation, therefore solar energy is considered renewable. In the following section, you can understand how and when renewable solar energy occurs.
The Sun’s solar energy can recover quickly and is always available. Solar energy doesn’t even take time to produce. Generation and penetration occur instantly without any time delay and even human influence on the generation.
The Sun may penetrate with a little less intense light or heat, maybe a little less intense from one day to the next, but it is always available and will never go out if you overuse the solar energy; this means that the harvesting speed does not affect the generation speed. Hence, solar energy is renewable.
The energy of the Sun is also called clean energy because this energy does not produce any harmful substance; it does not pollute the environment and does not emit toxic substances.
A NASA study predicts that the Sun will keep energy penetrating the planet for about 4.5 billion years. Until then, all living beings can continuously enjoy solar energy.
Solar energy is also classified into active and passive solar energy based on how solar energy is absorbed, distributed, and converted into usable power.
A passive solar energy system does not have external devices for capturing and storing solar radiation. It uses thermodynamic principles to collect solar energy and turn itself into energy. This system is mainly for heating and cooling. Large buildings, windows, floors, and some building materials are designed to collect heat from the Sun and release it when it is out.
A passive solar energy system does not include converting solar energy into mechanical or electrical power. In winter, they harvest the Sun’s heat to warm their environment, while in summer, they refuse to keep cool.
Passive solar energy systems are designed to collect solar heat during the day and release heat when the Sun is out. It will replenish during the day, so passive solar energy is renewable. If the collected solar energy from a passive solar energy system is depleted, it will not take thousands of years to regenerate the energy.
It is challenging to use energy in an area where it rains heavily and is overcast because passive solar energy is highly dependent on the climate.
Non-renewable energy is a limited energy source that can be depleted if overused and takes a long time to recover.
Classifying any energy as renewable is quite difficult because if you consider it on a long time scale, then all forms of energy will run out. If the Sun goes out, there will be no solar energy production, which means that it will also become non-renewable.
It has been calculated that the existence of the Sun is 5 billion years, and it will remain throughout the existence of mankind. But the time will come when there will be no sun, leading to a decrease in all life on Earth.
It is difficult to predict exactly where solar energy is non-renewable because we constantly receive solar energy on Earth.
Solar energy reaches the Earth through the Sun’s rays. Therefore, as long as the Sun shines, we continuously receive solar energy, which will be renewable.
Astronomers have roughly calculated that for every second, about 600 million tons of hydrogen fuses into helium in the inner core of the Sun. And yet only 4 million tons penetrate from the Sun, which can be turned into useful mechanical work.
But the study estimates the abundance of hydrogen in the core, which is unlikely to last 5 to 10 billion years.
Once the Sun runs out of hydrogen, which could cause the Sun to collapse, then there will be no infiltration of radiation that would lead the Earth to a finite amount of solar energy. Eventually, it ends, causing non-renewable solar energy on Earth.