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Can renewable energy sources power the world?
Can renewable energy sources power the world?

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1 Solar thermal energy and daylighting

There are lots of different solar energy technologies, and these include:

Passive solar space heating

This is the absorption of solar energy directly into a building to reduce its space heating demand.


Making the best use of natural daylight from the Sun through careful building design and by the use of controls to switch off artificial lighting when there is sufficient natural light available.

Active solar water heating and space heating

This involves discrete solar collectors, usually mounted on the roof of a building, to gather solar radiation to provide hot water for washing or for space heating.

Solar thermal power plants

These more complex solar collectors use mirrors to concentrate the Sun’s energy, producing temperatures high enough to operate steam turbines, which then drive generators to produce electric power.

These technologies will be described in more detail later, but first we must discuss the nature and availability of solar radiation.