Our Earth has the most complex and intricately designed ecosystem that functions through interdependency with everything it houses, whilst being part of the Solar System. Our Solar System revolves around the Sun, an almost perfect sphere of hot plasma of hydrogen, helium interwoven with magnetic fields.
The Sun is the star at the centre of our solar system. It plays a crucial role for life sustenance for Earth’s very survival.
Some other names for the Sun include: SURYA, SUNNE, SONNE, SUNNA, SUNNŌN, SULIS, SUNCE, SAULE, SOLNITSE, and SOL (1)
The light from the sun is Earth’s primary source of energy. The sun deposits a ‘Solar Constant’ amount of power per unit area to our Earth’s surface. It’s this very Solar Constant that is used to harness the solar energy by a variety of natural and synthetic processes.
It’s this very Solar Constant’ or Sunlight that is used through synthetic processes for electrical conversion of solar sunlight into solar power via the means of solar cells to generate electricity.
Almost 1000w/m2 of sunlight reaches the Earth’s surface. Hence, solar technology captures this sunlight for transformation into electricity. (2)
How does Green House Effect and Carbon Footprint interrelate?
A carbon footprint has historically been defined as “the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person.” (UK CARBON TRUST)
Greenhouse gases are gases emitted through transport, land clearance, and the production and consumption of food, fuels, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, and services.
However a huge emphasis is put on Carbon Dioxide as the major gas causing greenhouse effect. This is solely because Carbon Dioxide traps the Solar Constant or heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing a rise in Earths temperature. To simplify reporting purposes, it is , it is often conveyed as the amount of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent of other Greenhouse gas, emission.
“The concept name of the carbon footprint originates from ecological footprint, discussion]which was developed by Rees and Wackernagel in the 1990s. The carbon footprint is a subset of the ecological footprint and of the more comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
An individuals’, nations’, or organisations’ carbon footprint can be measured by undertaking a GHG emissions assessment. Once the size of a carbon footprint is known, a strategy can be devised to reduce it, e.g. by technological developments, better process and product management, changed Green Public or Private Procurement (GPP), carbon capture, consumption strategies, and others.” (Carbon Footprint, 2007)
Why Renewable Energy?
Renewable Energy equals Clean Energy. So why not? Renewable Energy gives our planet a chance to recoup from the constant extraction of resources to fullfill our needs and wants.
Renewable Energy makes use of the abundance in natural elements such as Wind, Sun and Water to provide power and electricity to communities and cities. While the technology behind this is complex and evolving, it’s the driving force behind the shift towards cleaner energy for our current and future generations.
This shift towards cleaner energy in Australia can be pin pointed to the year 2007 when the Kyoto Protocol was signed the Prime Minister of Australia in 2007, Mr Kevin Rudd. Australia was one of the industrialised countries to sign up to this agreement in its efforts to reduce the carbon emissions (footprint) by investing and using alternative energy sources via Renewable Energy.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.
The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialised countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.