Energy from sources other than fossil and nuclear fuels is to a large extent free of the concerns about environmental effects and renewability that characterize those two sources. Each alternative source supplies energy continually, whether or not we use it, and most have their origins in energy generated outside the Earth, yet the potential of each is limited by its total supply set against its rate of use. The Sun will radiate energy until it ceases thermonuclear fusion, in around 5 billion years. This free course, Energy resources: solar energy, explores the Sun as a potential source of usable energy.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
explain the principles that underlie the ability of various natural phenomena to deliver solar energy
outline the technologies that are used to harness the power of solar energy
discuss the positive and negative aspects of solar energy in relation to natural and human aspects of the environment.