There’s more to the sun these days than just enjoying a beach outing or seeing a fantastic view from the Hubble telescope. The power of the sun, located 93 million miles from planet earth, is looking more and more like one of the main energy –and health sources that we on earth will be harnessing in the years to come. And one of the companies that will become a major developer of solar energy is the international Sharp Electronics corporation, through it’s subsidiary Sharp Solar Electricity.
The Sharp Corporation is not a newcomer to the development of solar energy for both private and public use. The company began producing solar power cells back in 1959, when the need became apparent to develop ways of providing electrical power to remote locations such as lighthouses, safety switches for railroads and other transportation installations (highway signs, roadside emergency telephones, etc), as well as communications satellites and other devices that most people now take for granted. And many of these installations now receive their energy directly from the sun – long after the need to use the sun’s power as a renewable energy source became apparent.
Now that the idea of solar energy has become acceptable, more and more private homes and business are installing solar paneling to create the energy to not only heat water (an idea that Israel and other Mediterranean countries have been capitalizing on for years), but to create enough electricity to not only supply their own needs, but even have enough “left over electricity” to sell it back to the electricity grids of the municipalities where they are located.
Although a number of alternative and renewable energy innovations are currently being developed in the world, including wind and thermal energy, hydrogen gas, bio-fuels (including algae and other aquatic vegetation); and even energy from ocean currents and waves, solar energy seems to have the most potential for generating maximum power, with the least environmental problems. Wind energy, although also promising, is now believed to be harmful to millions of migrating birds that ply the major migratory flyways annually on their flights from north to south and back again.
This belief in the suns power as a major energy sources was expressed by Sharp Corporation’s founder, Tokuji Hayakawa, back in 1970, when he said:
“I believe the biggest issue for the future is the accumulation and storage of solar heat and light. While all living things enjoy the blessings of the sun, we have to rely on electricity from power stations. With magnificent heat and light streaming down on us, we must think of ways of using that blessing. This is where solar cells come in…”
“We cannot store the wind, but we can store heat and light. We should think of ways to convert heat and light to electricity and accumulate it simply and cheaply in storage batteries. For example, if we can install solar systems on roofs, homes could be self sufficient in power. And if we attached such systems to the roofs of cars, we could eliminate our reliance on gasoline and eliminate emissions.”
“If we could find a way of generating electricity from limitless solar heat and light, that would benefit humankind to an extent we can scarcely imagine.”
Sharp Corporation’s solar energy development projects are now located in a number of countries and continents worldwide, including the USA and Mexico, major European countries, Russia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and of course Japan, Sharp Corporation’s “home front”. The future of solar energy for power is unlimited, and as more and more locations switch to using solar energy to provide power for everyone’s electricity needs (it is estimated that less than 2% of the earth’s surface is needed for solar panel installation) the benefits of clean, non-CO2 emitting energy will be seen by all. And whether they live in a bustling metropolis like New York City or Tokyo, or in a remote village in Africa or Bangladesh, people will benefit tremendously from our long time friend and power source, the sun.