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Solar Energy for Environmental Sustainability


Renewable source of energy is not an entirely new concept, but with technological advancement, it continues to rapidly emerge as an alternative to fossil fuels. The need to account for sustainable development when it comes to energy is crucial; the major energy sources in current use are unsustainable in that they harm the environment and deplete resources for current generation and most especially for future ones to come. Solar technologies are extremely promising with ever-increasing output efficiency and the capability to be used in a variety of locations.  The intrinsic qualities of solar design afford it a great utility for the best alternative to energy that can reach out to remote areas. Technological advancement has made the designs of solar cells to be applicable in high industrial applications, water heating, generating electricity, water desalination, and this has seen significant results for economic and environmental sustainability across broad.

Solar Energy's Positive Impact on the Environment · HahaSmart


Sustainable development in different spheres of life and work has been the center of focus in the last century worldwide. It is significantly essential to look at the relationship between energy and sustainable development. Classical renewable energy sources of energy comprise the sun, wind, and geothermal energy. The use of burnable energy sources (coal, wood, oil) brings nothing but serious environmental contamination and pollution.

Eco-friendly energy sources are those that contaminate the environment in the barest minimum acceptable. The cleanest source of energy is the sun whose irradiation is free of charge and more or less accessible to the whole Earth and the Solar system [1,2]

Solar Energy

Solar energy is a clean, inexpensive, renewable power source that can be harnessed nearly everywhere in the world - any point where sunlight hits the surface of the earth is a potential location to generate solar power. Since solar energy comes from the sun, it represents a limitless source of power. Renewable energy technologies generate electricity from infinite resources.

Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy. Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, and Nigeria is abundantly blessed with some of the richest solar resources in the world.

Solar Technologies

Solar technologies can harness this energy for a variety of uses, including generating electricity for domestic, commercial, or industrial use.

There are three ways to harness solar energy which are: Photovoltaics (PV), Solar Heating & Cooling, and Concentrating Solar Power.

Photovoltaic (PV)

Photovoltaic (PV) are devices that generate electricity directly from sunlight via an electronic process that occurs naturally in certain types of material, called semiconductors. Electrons in these materials are freed by solar energy and can be induced to travel through an electrical circuit, powering electrical devices or sending electricity to the grid. [3]

A Japanese company has set a new Record for Solar cell Efficiency PV devices can be used to power anything from small electronics such as calculators and road signs up to homes and large commercial businesses.

Photovoltaic cell: “”

Solar Heating & Cooling

Solar Heating & Cooling (SHC) technologies collect the thermal energy from the sun and use this heat to provide hot water, space heating, cooling, and pool heating for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. These technologies displace the need to use electricity or natural gas.[4]

Solar Heating and Cooling : “”

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) are plants or system designs which uses mirrors to concentrate the sun's energy to drive traditional steam turbines or engines that create electricity. The thermal energy concentrated in a CSP plant can be stored and used to produce electricity when it is needed, day or night [5].

Concentrated Solar Power in Dubai: “”

Solar Energy for Sustainable environment

Serious problems of air pollution are connected with the use and combustion of natural fuels such as coal and Petroleum and its derivatives.

Sustainability of the environment is focused on the preservation of the natural eco-systems and the rational use of the natural resources of the Earth. Thus, this concept is geared towards the protection of life and environmental quality.

Overuse and uncontrolled use and exploitation of natural resources can cause a violation of the ecological balance and thus ecological disasters as well. The basic principle of sustainable development is that natural resources can be used only to the level that provides their reproduction. [6]

Benefits of Solar Energy for Sustainable Environment

Since the sun will continue shining for hundreds of billions of years, calling solar a truly sustainable power supply is a safe bet. The aim is to determine how best to drive down the cost of going solar. It should be conservative to the environment, as well as economically sustainable to do so.

  • Provides long-term energy assurance

The photovoltaic (PV) cells in the panel collect the sunlight and convert it into electricity. Solar is an infinite source of energy and is guaranteed to be available for centuries. As long as the sun is present in our solar system, we will always be able to reap the benefits by generating clean, green energy.

  • Helpful to the environment

The cleanest energy that we can harness is solar energy, and its adoption will reduce the impact that we have made towards driving climate change.

Solar energy is also much safer for humans and the environment since it is a lot easier to generate and transport.

  • Prevents damage on land and the habitat

The usage of solar energy can also prevent damages to land and habitats. Today’s ecosystem is being destroyed because of the exploitation of resources like fossil fuels. There are lots of trees being cut down, and habitats are being destroyed to build up factories and power plants. But with solar farms, panels are simply placed on land, and there is no need to drill holes or erect structures above it.

  • A safe and clean option for power source

Fossil and nuclear energy are two of the most popular power sources right now, but it also produces all kinds of environmental problems. The electricity generated from fossil fuels results in air pollution, further resulting in acid rain, the global warming, and other severe changes in our environment.

  • Helpful in mitigating climate change

The adoption of solar power can also reduce the emissions from greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide with is in abundance in the atmosphere resulting in global warming

Also, the use of green, clean solar energy will lead to a decrease in the demand for fossil fuels, thereby reducing the greenhouse effect and sustaining the environment. Solar technologies is incredibly evolving each year, and solar power is becoming more and more accessible to anyone.


Energy is essential for humanity, and solar power is the ultimate energy source. The sun as a solar energy source has many advantages: it is sufficient, it is virtually infinite, and it provides equal access to all users.

A clean and safe environment is an important gift that we can leave for our future generations. It is of vital importance to develop different types of renewable energy sources including solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal, and hydrogen gas to supply the energy needed for a sustainable environment. 

Solar Energy has been identified as one of the promising renewable energy sources which have the potential to meet the future energy demand in developing countries like Nigeria. To achieve this, solar energy can be harnessed either by generating electricity using solar panels (solar photovoltaic or PV) or directly by using the solar thermal effect to generate heat.


[1]          J. Radosavljević, T. Pavlović, M. Lambić, Solarna energetika i održivi razvoj, IRO ''Građevinska knjiga'', Beograd (2004)

[2]          T. Pavlović, B. Čabrić, Fizika, The tehnologies for solar and energy, Građevinska knjiga, Beograd (1999)




[6]          Naim H. Afgan et all., Sustainable Energy Development, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review 2, (1998) pp. 235-286