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Solar Energy & Solar Storage

Solar energy, energy produced by the sun, is inexhaustible, renewable, and won’t contribute to a mass extinction by global warming unlike fossil fuels. Solar energy is a powerful resource that can be harnessed in multiple ways via specific mechanisms and processes.

Active solar energy depends on devices to convert solar energy into something usable like heating or electricity, while passive solar energy does not use any device but rather uses the current position of the sun and climate to heat or cool structures. A good example of passive solar energy is a large building having south facing windows so the sunshine can pass into the building directly, thus providing both ambient light and heat. A crucial step in the action of harnessing solar energy is where to contain and store the energy that is created through such processes such as active solar energy so it can be utilized even when the sun doesn’t shine. Have a listen to this podcast that details some of the current processes and operations we have to store solar energy and what solar storage may look like in the future. Propelled by their plan to become a net-zero energy company by 2050, the oil and gas company, Shell, recently completed the acquisition of Missouri-based solar and storage company, Savion. In a call back to last week’s C Change Newsletter excerpt delving into what happens when a coal mine is left behind, take a look at this abandoned coal mine that is being converted into a solar farm, repurposing the space and providing new jobs for the coal miners themselves: Coming Soon to This Coal County: Solar, in a Big Way - The New York Times


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