Burning fossil fuels such as coal for electricity production,
and gas for water heating both release large amounts of CO2
into the atmosphere, thus contributing to this environmentally
harmful phenomenon. By using renewable energy sources such
a Solar Thermal, Solar PV, Wind, Hydro and Geothermal, reliance
on fossil fuels can be minimised, thus directly reducing CO2
There has been a great deal of information in the media over
the past few years about global warming and the role of CO2
emissions. 2003 saw extreme weather conditions and a heat-wave
throughout Europe, clear evidence of the realism of this problem,
commonly referred to as the "green house effect" .
On average for every 1kWh of energy produced by a coal power
station, 1kg (2.2pound) of CO2 is produced. Burning natural
gas for electricity production or water heating produces about
450grams of CO2 for every kWh of energy produced.
At today's prices, a typical residential solar water heater
have an operating life in excess of 20 years. For all intents
and purposes, maintenance and operating costs are minimal.
In the average household, water heating accounts for around
30% of CO2 emissions. By installing a solar water heater,
which can provide between 50-70% of your hot water heating
energy needs, you can reduce your total CO2 emissions by more
than 20%. Solar water heating reduces the amount of natural
gas extracted, transported and burned to heat water in your
home. Solar energy increases the diversity of power and adds
stability to a fossil fuel-favored energy structure, while
reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including nitrous oxides
and carbon dioxide, while saving money.
Using optical lenses and mirrors to concentrate the sunlight
onto a very small, highly efficient CPV solar cell. For example,
under 500-sun concentration, 1 cm2 of CPV solar cell area
produces the same electricity as 500 cm2 normal irradiance
without concentration. This is particularly significant when
considering the inherent efficiency advantage of the Multi-Junction
technology over Silicon solar cells. The use of concentration,
therefore, allows substitution of cost-effective materials
such as lenses and mirrors for the more costly semiconductor
PV cell material.
Solar energy is part of the solution and is a key to our long-term