Earthrise travels to Barbados to see how the tiny island has become a world leader in solar thermal technology.
One Latin American woman’s quest to harness the power of the southern sun.
From school children to night fishermen, solar lighting in Kenya is transforming the lives of thousands of people. As the sun sets over developing countries, more than a billion people are either plunged into darkness or forced to rely on polluting light sources such as kerosene.
While clean energy alternatives exist, switching to them has been slow and in Kenya, more than 80 percent of the country’s 40 million inhabitants rely on kerosene, candles and torches as their main source of light.
But the development of an all-in-one solar electricity system that powers lights, radios and phones is revolutionising thousands of households and businesses.
Robin Forestier-Walker travels to Kenya’s Rift Valley to see how innovative financing, distribution and product design is heralding a new era in solar lighting.
1. As per the Solar calendar, every year the months fall in the same respective seasons of that location. For example, the months of March, April and May in India will always have summer, while July, August, September will always have monsoons i.e. rains in western India. November, December and January will always have winter.
2. In the lunar calendar in different years the months fall in a different season.
The lunar calendar has about 11 days less than the solar calendar. Thus, every year, the month of the lunar calendar occurs 11 days prior to what it had occurred in the previous solar year. Thus, in a span of about 33 lunar years a human being will experience all the different seasons for one particular month of the lunar calendar. This is very important because the yearly activities of a Muslim are based on the lunar calendar. Certain months like Ramadhan and Hajj are very important to the Muslims. During Ramadhan a Muslim has to fast which includes abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. If the Islamic months were based on the solar calendar where the seasons were fixed, then people living in certain parts of the world would have Ramadhan in summer while in other parts of the world it would be winter. Some Muslims would have to fast for a longer period of time where the days are long while other Muslims would have to fast for shorter period of time where the days are short. If the seasons did not change, then Muslims living in some parts of the world may feel that they are at a disadvantage throughout their lives.
By following the lunar calendar, every Muslim has a taste of fasting in different seasons and for a different time period, in a span of about 33 years of his life.
Earth’s Picky Atmosphere
Earth’s atmosphere might seem picky at times. From the energy that Earth gets from the Sun, we reject 34% of it back into the space. This happens because clouds, ice, and snow simply reflect the light. This reflective quality is called “albedo.”
Environmentally Friendly Energy
Solar energy does not produce waste or pollute the atmosphere, so it is ecologically acceptable. If implemented on a global scale, the use of this energy source can improve the environmental quality damaged by the use of fossil fuels. It is time to think about our descendants and leave the planet in a good shape for them to use.
Solar energy is a good option when deciding about the energy sources to use because of its reliability. The Sun provides us with light on an everyday basis, all year round. That is the very energy that sustains our lives as well as keeping the Earth’s natural processes going.
The Future of Energy
It is estimated that by 2025, utility-scale solar power will become cost-competitive with natural gas. The potential of using this energy source is great because it is nearly inexhaustible. Granted, the Sun will wear out in about 4.5 billion years, but, hopefully, until then a new power source will be invented.