Solar Energy

By rahaf gadalla

What solar energy is and how it works

Solar is the Latin word for sun. Solar energy has been used by humans for a long time. It is energy that comes from the sun and it is used as an energy source, electricity, and as a heat source. People harness the Suns energy and turn it into electricity, heat, and energy. People collect the Suns energy by


  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Solar thermal energy
Photovoltaic cells convert sunlight into electricity, and solar thermal energy is when you harness the Suns light to produce heat.


Solar panels are used to turn sunlight into electricity. A solar panel is made up of small solar cells. Each of the cells use light to make electrons move. The cells are made up of different layers that are stuck together. The first layer is loaded with electrons, and the second layer has had some electrons taken away, so that it is ready to take in more electrons. When the suns light hits an electron in the first layer, the electron jumps to the second layer. That electron makes another electron move, which makes another electron move and so on. That's how electricity is created using solar panels.

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The Advantages Of Solar Energy

Solar energy is known as a renewable source of energy. That means that it is a form of energy that comes from nature and doesn't hurt nature or us. So solar energy does not produce smoke, or other air pollutants. It is also an alternative to non renewable energy sources. Solar powered panels and products are very easy to install, and very little maintenance is required to keep solar cells running. Solar energy is also noise free!

The disadvantages of solar energy

Even though solar energy has many advantages it has many disadvantages too. Solar energy can not be harnessed durning a storm, a cloudy day or at night. So some days you still have to rely on other sources of energy. Also if you want to achieve average efficiency, you will need a large space for the solar devices. But the efficiency of solar panels is low compared to other sources of energy. Another thing is that you wont get the same efficiency every day and during every season because the Suns light changes with the season.

How many people use solar energy?

Solar energy is not used by a lot of people. One reason is because at night time the sun doesn't come out and if there is no sun then there won't be any solar. Only about 0.3% of the United States uses solar energy. Non-renewable energy sources are used the most, and that is a bad thing because they pollute the air, produce dangerous gases, hurt nature, and other things like that. Renewable resources such as wind, water power, geothermal, biomass, and solar provide nearly 11% of energy that New Yorkers use.
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Recently in the news

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Director Heather Leibowitz writes a letter that's explaining what she wants Gov. Andrew Cuomo to do. She wants him to set a goal of generating 20 percent of New Yorks electricity from solar by the year 2025. She believes that New York had the technical potential to generate 11 times the amount of electricity consumed in an average year from solar power alone. Heather Leibowitz thinks that If we use a lot of solar energy New Yorks environment will be better.