Solar Power on the Rise
At the moment the world’s production of solar power is at about 140 gigawatts and moving steadily upward. In the near future up to five percent of the world’s energy could come from the sun.
Solar power is probably the cleanest form of energy. There is no pollution, and it does not contribute to global warming.
While, for a long time, solar power was an energy form that only industrialized countries could afford, it has now come to South America and Asia. China is currently the biggest producer of solar panels. It has been producing solar cells and photovoltaic systems on a large basis, making them cheaper to install.
As technology becomes more and more affordable, prices go down. More and more people around the world are putting up small photovoltaic systems on their roofs. Many governments are subsidizing solar power by giving tax breaks to people who put solar panels on their roofs.
Germany and Japan are the number one countries when it comes to solar power. The governments there have introduced programs to get people to invest in solar energy. As a result, carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced drastically. In Japan there are even solar panels floating on the man-made lakes of a dam.
The sun’s energy does not only provide us with light and heat. As solar cells are becoming more efficient solar power has become a source of energy for many devices and machines, from cell phones to cars, ships and airplanes.
The solar energy boom is also creating tens of thousands of new jobs every year. Currently, about 1.3 million people are working in the solar power business, over 400 000 in China alone.
All in all, solar power will definitely be the number one alternative energy form of future decades.
Solar Power on Rooftops in Hong Kong
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- afford = pay for
- boom = here: rise in business
- carbon dioxide = gas that is produced when people and animals breathe out or when carbon is burned in the air
- contribute = add to
- currently = at the moment
- decade = ten years
- definitely = absolutely, without a doubt
- developing country = poor country of the world
- device = small machine
- drastically = very much
- efficient = here: if something works well without wasting energy
- emission = give off, releasing something in to the atmosphere
- float = drift, swim
- fossil fuels = energy that is produced when plants and animals die over millions of years ; coal, oil and gas are the most popular fossil fuels
- gigawatt = 1000 million watts = the unit for measuring electricity
- global warming = when the temperature of the atmosphere goes up because light can get in but heat cannot escape
- government = people who rule a country
- increase = go up
- install = set up
- introduce = start
- invest = spend money on
- opportunity = chance
- panel = flat piece of metal
- photovoltaic = another name for solar panel
- pollution = the act of making air and water dirty and unable to use
- reduce = go down
- steadily = slowly
- subsidize = if the government pays part of the costs to install something
- tax break = you do not have to pay so much tax