Decayed organic matter, exposed to heat and pressure within the earth, has formed into fossil fuels (including oil, natural gas, and coal) over millions of years. These fossil fuels are currently the major sources of energy around the world.
Based on the 2013/2014 Annual Energy Report of Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australia obtained 94% of its total energy from fossil fuels. This was deemed to have been mainly used for electricity generation, transportation, and heating.
Fossil fuels are readily available, their capacity to generate a great amount of cheap and reliable energy is high, and they’re very easy to store and transport. However, despite their advantages, fossil fuels have serious disadvantages. When burnt, they release carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide, and these chemical releases into our atmosphere are the primary reasons behind global warming and acid rain respectively. Moreover, fossil fuels are also non-renewable, and it’s estimated that the earth’s supply of them will be depleted in the next 40-50 years.
Environmental Change Starts with Better Energy Source Choices
As a consequence of fossil fuels being unsustainable in the long term, our governments and scientists are actively developing new ways to extract energy from other sources (such as from the sun and wind). The sun emits its energy in the form of solar radiation, which could be harnessed using photovoltaics and concentrated solar power systems (to generate electricity), as well as solar water heating technologies.
Photovoltaic cells (or solar cells) are able to convert light into electricity via a photovoltaic effect. What has been found is that it’s possible to install this type of cells on different devices (including solar battery chargers and solar lights) as a natural energy source – without the need to rely on mains electricity or chemical-based batteries.
LED Lights and Solar Power are Leading the Way
Thomas Edison’s invention of the very practical incandescent light bulb (in 1879) was a distinctive turning point in the lives of humans on Earth. Since then, various types of incandescent light bulbs have been introduced, but even modern incandescent light bulbs have an obvious drawback; they are inefficient and waste enormous amounts of energy in the form of heat. Hence, these are now being replaced with much more efficient LED lamps (i.e. the power consumption of a 5-Watt LED lamp is equivalent to a 40-Watt incandescent lamp).
Fossil Fuels are a Serious Health Hazard
We mentioned CO2 earlier. The fact is that fossil fuels currently drive our power plants, which means that, for every energy-reliant household, there are large amounts of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. In Australia, for example, for every 1kWh of electricity generated, 841 grams of CO2 is produced. In poorer countries around the world, they often don’t have access to electricity, which makes the situation even worse for them – because they rely on the use of kerosene lanterns when the sun sets. A kerosene lantern is dim, polluting, and toxic. It emits 100 tons of CO2 a year, and, if it burns 4 hours a day and over time, it may cause fatal respiratory problems in a closed space.
Solar Lights are the Perfect, World-wide Solution
A clean, efficient, and cost-effective solution is the combination of photo-voltaic cells and LEDs, and these form the basis of solar lights.
Solar Light Benefits include:
- Solar lights don’t create any pollution – so they are harmless and have no effect on global warming;
- Solar lights are affordable and efficient for all walks of life. In particular, and given access to them, people living in poor countries can experience enormous benefits, without any of the costs associated with electricity and kerosene, which can have a much more positive impact on their health, lifestyle and education opportunities, and
- Solar lights (lining streets, alleys and roadways) provide an added sense of security after dark, and hence make people feel safer.
Today, solar lights are manufactured in a wide variety of styles and for a large number of applications. The quality of the technology has expanded tremendously since they were first introduced – so much so that you can now find solar light being used as solar street lights, garden lights, post lights, step lights, sensor lights, decorative displays, and even for mood lighting.
There are design styles available to suit multiple tastes as well – either modern or classic looks, featuring a range of colour or mono-colour LEDS, and most are crafted from lightweight and highly durable materials.
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And see how YOU could easily harness sunlight more naturally to
prevent the spread of global warming.