Is Solar Energy Renewable?

Lisa Foran | June 21 | News

When it comes to finding sustainable and eco-friendly energy sources, solar power is often a top contender. But what exactly makes solar energy so appealing?

More importantly, is it truly renewable? In this blog, we’ll explore what solar energy is, why it’s considered renewable, and why it holds so much promise for the future.


What is Solar Energy?

Solar energy comes from the sun’s rays. We can convert this energy into electricity or heat, making it incredibly versatile. There are two main ways to harness solar power: photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal systems.

Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight directly into electricity, while solar thermal systems use sunlight to heat a fluid, which can then produce steam and generate electricity.

Despite being a well-established technology in the world of renewable energy, solar energy has taken slow, incremental steps forward to make it more efficient. Throughout the years, this efficiency has drastically increased however there is still much room for improvement.


What Does “Renewable” Mean?

To figure out if solar energy is renewable, we need to understand what “renewable” means. Renewable energy sources are those that are naturally replenished and available in an endless supply.

Unlike fossil fuels, which take millions of years to form and are used up much faster than they are created, renewable resources are continuously available and sustainable in the long run. This is why solar energy is a great example – it uses light from the sun to convert it into electricity. This is renewable because the sun will continue to shine for billions of years and is abundant in most areas of the world.


So, Is Solar Energy Renewable?

Yes, solar energy is absolutely renewable! Here’s why:

  1. Unlimited Supply: The sun provides an almost limitless source of energy. In just one hour, the Earth receives more energy from the sun than the entire world uses in a year. As long as the sun is shining, we have access to solar energy.
  2. Constant Replenishment: The sun uses a nuclear fusion process in order to create energy, which is expected to continue for several billion years. This means we can rely on this energy source for the foreseeable future.
  3. No Depletion: Using solar energy doesn’t reduce the sun’s rays. Unlike fossil fuels, which get used up as we extract them, solar power remains abundant no matter how much we use.


Benefits of Solar Energy

Source of Renewable EnergyWeather dependence
Energy Bill ReductionCan consume a lot of space
Low Maintenance CostsEnergy storage can also be expensive
Brand New TechnologyCost

Weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of installing solar panels is essential to ensure you fully understand what to expect when making your investment. The benefits of solar panels are fairly self-explanatory – it acts as a renewable energy source, reducing carbon emissions for the betterment of the planet.

Generating electricity from solar panels doesn’t produce greenhouse gases, which is crucial for fighting climate change and reducing air pollution.

There are also many figures stating that solar panels can reduce your energy bills by up to 62% per year, which can eventually repay your initial investment altogether.

Advances in solar panel manufacturing and recycling are making solar technology more sustainable – and efforts to reduce the environmental impact of production and improve the recyclability of solar panels are ongoing.


Can Solar Energy Be Stored?

The resounding answer to this question is yes! Solar energy can be paired with some battery energy storage systems to make sure that the excess power is able to be stored for when the sun is not as available as usual – for example, at night or during cloudy weather.

It is always recommended to use storage systems alongside renewable energy since a survey by Which has found that 75% of battery storage owners stated that their storage had saved them money to a great extent.

Furthermore, another survey by Which in 2019 found that 43% of homeowners with solar panels also use a battery storage system alongside it. This shows a relatively low level of adoption considering the great benefits that it can provide you with.

This number will only increase as the prices for these systems continue to fall as well as more people becoming aware of their existence.


Will Solar Energy Replace Fossil Fuels?

The overall aim of solar energy is to eventually help eradicate fossil fuels from being used across the world and is currently helping to reduce harmful CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases.

The current issue that we have with solar energy is that it is not as efficient as it needs to be. Currently, solar energy has an efficiency rating of around 15-22% meaning that 15-22% of the light hitting the face of the panels will be converted into electricity.

On the other hand, fossil fuels are much more efficient standing at around 20-40% efficiency, making it very difficult to swap directly from fossil fuels to solar power, particularly for large businesses and factories.

However, the future looks bright for renewable energy. As this technology continues to advance, it is sure to be adopted by more industries and we will gradually see the reduction of fossil fuels seen in the mainstream.


How Can ESOLAR Help You?

If you are looking to install solar panels to your home, the team at ESOLAR have the expertise that you need!

Our team of solar specialists have many years of experience in all things solar, having won several awards from the Solar Installer of the Year (2021-2024) to the National Solar PV Contractor / Installer of the Year 2023 at the Energy Efficiency Awards.

We can guarantee that we will be able to price match any genuine quote that you present us with and have everything fully operational within 14 days of your initial survey. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you require our services.


Key Takeaways

  • Solar energy uses the light given by the sun to create electricity.
  • Renewable energy is the name given to energy sources that can be replenished consistently.
  • Solar power is an example of renewable energy.
  • Solar panels can reduce energy bills.
  • Battery storage systems are great accessories for solar panels.
  • Fossil fuels should be less used as years go on in favour of renewable sources.
  • Contact ESOLAR to enquire about solar panel installations.