Is Solar Power Renewable or Nonrenewable?

In our modern society, there are numerous aspects that heavily rely on energy sources in the form of combustible fuels and electricity. However, most experts believe that all fossil fuels, which are currently dominating the production of energy all over the world, are non-renewable resources as their extraction rate greatly exceeds their formation rate. This concern has triggered intense research in new technology which might capture and utilise energy from the most basic renewable source of power: the sun.

An inexhaustible energy source

Renewable energy comes from a natural process of self-replenishing. This energetic process is often seen as infinite as it is controlled by natural cycles and chemical reactions which might continue for millions of years. The natural world is full of energy sources of all forms, but many of them like ocean waves or lightning can’t be converted into electricity or transportation fuels required by our modern society. Thus, the primary challenge is to find out suitable natural sources of energy and develop the right technology to utilise them efficiently.

Proton power

The ultimate solar source of energy originates from nuclear fusion which occurs inside the sun’s core. This complicated process starts with 2 protons which fuse together and finishes with the release of a massive amount of energy, which travels across outer space to our planet through electromagnetic radiation. We can consider solar power as the most renewable source of energy as it doesn’t suffer any diminutions from human activities and can replenish naturally as long as our civilisation still needs energy.

Solar power origin

The energy released by the sun is significantly renewable, meaning that solar power, which often refers to the electricity produced by solar panels, is also renewable. However, it is true that the process of fusing protons inside the sun might not continue forever as it would cease when mass runs out. In absolute words, solar energy isn’t renewable because the sun would eventually lose its capability of supporting fusion, just like other stars. But it will take approximately 5 billion years for this process to happen, so we can say that solar energy is relatively renewable concerning human society as we can’t anticipate our energy needs in the future.

Renewable versus Nonrenewable

It is acceptable to consider solar power as a renewable source, but nearly all renewable sources partly depend on fossil fuels or non-renewable inputs. More specifically, sophisticated devices are required to convert sunlight into electricity. Most of these units are manufactured in facilities that are primarily powered by fossil fuels, then transported and set up with equipment powered by renewable energy sources. As a result, it is relatively difficult to say that solar energy, or any other forms of energy production, is purely renewable.

However, many experts still think that solar power has expanded and developed into the stage in which the necessary amount of renewable energy it produces is higher than the necessary amount of non-renewable energy for its installation and fabrication. More solar energy info and news on Twitter and

Why use Renewable Energy Sources?

With the fear of running out of fossil fuels and other sources of non-renewable energy, experts are trying to educate people about the need to shift to a new renewable energy source. In the recent years, there has been an increase renewable energy sources. Such sources include solar, water, and wind. As with everything else many people have doubted renewable energy sources and have questioned their efficiency, as well as our ability to converting renewable energy to electricity. It is crystal clear that the real issue lies with the understanding rather than the doubling of the efficiency of renewable energy sources to deliver the same efficiency of our current fossil fuels and non-renewable sources.

So what are the different types?

Some of the most popular types of renewable energy being used today include solar, geothermal, wind, and hydro. Unfortunately, despite the popularity that these sources are gaining, consumers are still in the process of figuring out and understanding how these all work to generate electricity. The techniques and technology used to create energy from these sources are still less efficient than most people are used to, and not up to the efficiency generated by fossil fuels. One of the biggest blocks in the renewable energy field has always been the cost-effectiveness. The technology behind these different types is far more expensive than what we currently are using.

Geothermal energy systems

A simple, nonpolluting way of using the earth’s heat to heat and cool a building rather than produce electricity on an individual basis. Using GHP in conjunction with traditional heating and cooling systems allow those systems to use 40 to 70% less energy than without a GHP. The upfront cost is several times that of a conventional system and payback can be from 2-10 years.

Wind power generators

Machines that convert wind energy into electrical power. The only required fuel is wind and is therefore free, and unlimited. The initial capital costs can be considered although the price for small-scale home systems has become more affordable.

The theory behind the wind power generator is simple: wind turbines drive the spindle to operate an alternator to convert the mechanical energy into electrical power. This electrical power is then wired directly for consumption, storage or both. The excess can also be channeled back onto the power grid for other users.

By nature, a constant good year-round supply of wind is rare. That’s why wind power generators are typically used in conjunction with another renewable energy source namely solar power. Even if wind power is deployed only as a supplement to the utility grid, it will be beneficial nonetheless in slashing power bills and good for the environment.

Solar Energy?

The process of creating the above-mentioned sources is definitely much more expensive than our non-renewable sources. As an example, converting solar energy into electricity is still expensive in comparison to our electric providers now. While our sun’s energy is free and very much renewable, setting up and installing the solar panels used to capture the sun’s rays and transform them into electricity is very pricey. Even companies that are currently using solar energy sell their electricity at a higher price in comparison to fossil fuel electric providers. With all that aside, solar energy is still considered to be cheaper in the long run, and most definitely more environmentally friendly.

Wherever you live, purchasing renewable energy from your power retailer, to offset your consumption of fossil fuels is an alternative, if you cannot afford to switch to home-based alternative energy and will cost only marginally more than your standard energy rate and allow you to help the environment, even if just a little bit.