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Research Project - Essay Example

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Solar energy use in Africa Course code Name Student number Solar energy use in Africa Most of the human activities since time in memorial have been powered (energized) by non-renewable sources of energy. The non-renewable sources of energies that have been used by mankind since time in memorial include: nuclear sources of energy and fossil fuels among others (Richards 2010)…
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Research Project

Download file to see previous pages... These sources of energy, particularly oil, have also been associated with water pollution as well as destruction of marine life and diversity through oil spills in oceans, seas, rivers and lakes among others. Even most of the existing renewable sources energies such as geothermal, wind and hydroelectric have been extremely expensive to install. In addition, these sources of energies are normally extremely affected by changes in weather conditions. Also, their abundance as compared to that of the solar energy is limited. Due to the problems associated with the available sources energies such as fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal, the use of solar energy is becoming popular in most parts of the world, particularly in China and Africa (House-Soremekun & Falola 2011). The solar energy seems to the source of energy that is more sustainable as compared to other sources of energy (Richards 2010). This paper, therefore, aims at discussing the use of solar energy in Africa and basics of this source of energy. Africa receives more solar radiation than any other continent in the world, thereby making it the continent with the greatest potential than any other continent in the world. Sun shine in Arica is virtually uninterrupted, and one of the most abundant energy resources in the continent. However, this precious source of power has not been fully exploited in the continent for number years. Despite the abundance of this energy resource, it is estimated that about 2 billion individuals (people) in world (most of them from Africa) either struggle or fail to meet their daily energy requirements due to scarcity of supply of energy (Richards 2010). Even though there has been reluctance in the harvesting of solar energy in Africa, the situation seemed to have change to day since a number of organizations in Africa as well as African governments have been turning their attention towards renewable and sustainable sources of energy. Amongst the renewable sources of energy that have been greatly focused by the African countries is solar energy. Africa as continent has made number of milestone towards harvesting solar energy. For example, the headquarters of United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) based in Nairobi (Kenya) is fully powered by solar energy (House-Soremekun & Falola 2011). Further according to House-Soremekun & Falola (2011), South Africa and Ghana are also planning to build amongst the biggest solar power plants in the world. Solar energy is also known as the radiant light, and it is referred to as heat energy from the sun (Richards 2010). This energy can be converted by different transducers to produce different sources of energy. For example, solar energy can be converted directly to electric energy by use of solar cells (also known as Photovoltaic). This particularly important for small scale energy requirements such as for watches and calculators. The solar energy can also be directly used to heat water for both domestic and industrial use. In addition, solar energy can be used to produce large amounts of solar energy through the use of solar radiation concentrators such as parabolic troughs. We have discussed how solar energy is converted into electric energy or used as heat energy to heat water among others (Hantula 2010). The question that might probably be lingering in the mind of the reader is how this precious energy is formed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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