Here Comes The Sun: What It Means To Harness Solar Energy For Every Day

Little steps of change go a long way

Here comes the sun, it’s alright ~ With the increasingly unbearable heat the world is experiencing due to the rapid rate of climate change, is it time we seriously consider converting the intense sunlight into something positive and useful? As we celebrate World Environment Day on 5 June, let’s take this chance to educate ourselves about how we can contribute to a more sustainable future — which includes harnessing the power of solar energy. Read on for a quick download on how solar energy works, its benefits, the common misconceptions surrounding it, and more.   

What is solar energy?

Let’s Go Renewable’ workshop held in the Philippines

Arturo Tahup, Director for Community Resilience at the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) Philippines discusses how solar panels work at the ‘Let’s Go Renewable’ workshop held in the Philippines.

According to the United Nations, solar energy is a natural resource from the sun and is the most abundant of all renewable energy sources. It is a powerful natural energy source that can provide heat, cooling, natural lighting, electricity, and fuels for various applications. It converts the sun’s energy into electricity using solar photovoltaic (photo = light, voltaic = electricity) modules or through mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. 

Solar energy is intercepted by the Earth at about 10,000 times greater than the rate at which humans consume energy — woah! It can be harnessed even on cloudy days too. 

Let’s debunk these common myths about solar energy

1. “Solar energy is too expensive!”

A man installs a solar panel onto a roof

A man installs a solar panel onto a roof.

Many misconceptions come to mind whenever we think about making the switch to more sustainable solutions, such as using solar energy to power up our devices and homes. For starters, many of us assume that tapping on solar power requires a lot of money. However, studies have shown that renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro, and wind are more affordable and cleaner than traditional fossil fuels. It's also said that adopting solar energy can lead to significant cost savings for both households and businesses.

2. “Solar energy is too technical. It’s not for me.”

Portable solar-powered device

ICSC Director Tahup holds up a TekPak, or portable solar-powered device, that can provide solar energy to off-grid households.

Another common misconception is that solar energy is too complex to learn and apply. The term “solar energy” may come across as overtly technical for some, but as it turns out, setting up solar energy systems is easier than we think. With proper guidance and resources, communities can invest in learning about solar technology and implement the use of it to power up their neighbourhoods. 

3. “Solar energy seems too ‘new’ and unreliable.”

A solar panel is installed on top of the roof of a house

A solar panel is installed on top of the roof of a house.

Unlike limited and imported fossil fuels, solar energy can provide a consistent and sustainable power supply — thus debunking the false notion that it is too unreliable. If resources are abundant and indigenous to a certain neighbourhood, solar energy can be considered one of the most reliable energy sources.  

How can solar energy power a more sustainable future for the Philippines?

Let’s Go Renewable workshop attendees in the Philippines.

Let’s Go Renewable workshop attendees in the Philippines.

Individual consumers and businesses can stand to experience short- and long-term benefits from implementing solar energy. These advantages may include significant savings on electrical bills and the potential to generate new revenue streams through innovative solar power applications. 

By embracing solar energy, Filipinos can contribute to a cleaner environment, enhance the resilience of the nation’s energy system, and improve the quality of life for all, leading towards a sustainable and thriving future for the Philippines. 

How’s that for taking actionable steps with solar energy to create a more sustainable future?

Next, find out how your choices can contribute to more effective climate advocacy.

Comments, questions or feedback? Email us at [email protected].

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