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What is solar energy used for – Learn more about its uses

What is solar energy used for

The world has the most powerful source of energy of all, solar energy, below I will tell you what is solar energy for?

Many children’s songs have always reflected the importance of the Sun for living beings , so from a young age we can already get an idea. The Sun is the largest star in the Solar System, the one that provides us with light and heat and the one that has made life possible on Earth for millions of years. A series of chemical transformations occur in the Sun, in which hydrogen is transformed into helium and in which huge amounts of energy are released and released into space.

What is solar energy used for

That energy reaches the Earth and is what we know as solar energy. To learn more about what solar energy is for, continue reading in EcologíaVerde because we show you the answer.

Solar energy is that which comes from the sun’s rays . This star emits electromagnetic radiation that reaches the Earth in the form of light and heat . Each year our planet receives 180 trillion kilowatts of power from the Sun, although some of it is returned to space by reflection from the atmosphere. This means that on a sunny day, 1 kilowatt per square meter can reach the earth’s surface.

The sun has been shining on us for 4,543,000,000 years and the scientific community believes that it will do so for another five hundred thousand. Due to its inexhaustible nature, it is currently one of the most important renewable energy resources or inexhaustible natural resources in the world.

Solar energy is a sustainable alternative energy source that has a lower environmental impact; It does not generate waste or emit toxic gases. However, it has the drawback that sunlight is intermittent and does not reach all areas of the planet equally.

For example, Spain, due to its geolocation and climate, has one of the highest rates of solar radiation in Europe, a figure similar to that of Latin American countries. It is estimated that per square meter it receives an amount of 1,500 kilowatts per hour during the year. Unfortunately, we are not among the countries that most base their energy production on solar energy. Countries like China surpass us, and in Europe, Germany leads in solar energy production.

Solar energy has numerous applications, both in the natural world interacting with all living beings, and in the human economy. The sun provides all living beings with light, energy and heat , but we humans get more out of it for our lifestyle. With this energy we get electricity, heat, transportation and much more. Next, we describe the most important uses of solar energy .

The world has the most powerful source of energy of all, solar energy, below I will tell you what is solar energy for?

What is solar energy used for in nature?

As we have said before, solar energy is used by all living beings and these are the main uses that this energy source is given in nature:


Thanks to solar energy, plants, algae and cyanobacteria can carry out photosynthesis. Photosynthesis, as we already know, is the process by which these living beings obtain the organic matter and energy they need to live. Solar energy is captured by chlorophyll, a very light-sensitive pigment found in plant cells, specifically in organelles called chloroplasts.

In addition, for photosynthesis to occur, water and carbon dioxide are needed. Sunlight causes photolysis, that is, the breaking of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere and the hydrogen is used in other reactions that allow the organism to obtain organic matter and energy. The importance of photosynthesis lies in the fact that it provides us with the oxygen we need to live,

We recommend you learn more by reading this other post about Photosynthesis: what it is, process and importance .

Source of vitamin D

We have always heard that “put yourself in the sun for a while to get vitamin D”. Although the Sun does not directly provide us with vitamin D, it is true that ultraviolet rays activate the enzymatic machinery of our skin cells to manufacture it. Vitamin D allows the body to fix the calcium that is so important for our bones, for the movement of muscles, the transmission of nerve impulses and helps the immune system to fight against pathogenic organisms.

Thanks to the Sun and its energy, you can help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, rickets, fibriomalgia and depression, among others. Therefore, the Sun provides us with another very important service, that of health.

Corporal temperature regulation

For the metabolism of animals to be adequate, a certain temperature is needed. At the physiological level, animals can be classified as endotherms or ectotherms depending on whether or not they are capable of regulating their own body temperature. The body temperature of endotherms or formerly called warm-blooded animals, such as birds and mammals, depends on the chemical reactions that occur in their body.

However, the temperature of ectotherms or formerly called cold-blooded animals; reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates, depends on the environment in which they live. For them, solar energy is very important, because it depends on it to activate their metabolism and be able to move, hunt, flee from predators and seek shelter.

What is solar energy used for in people’s daily lives?

Apart from the basics that it provides to all living beings, solar energy serves us for the following in our daily lives :


Solar energy is converted into electricity thanks to photovoltaic panels. Photovoltaic panels are made up of cells or photovoltaic cells. These cells are built with semiconductor materials, that is, materials capable of behaving as conductors of electricity or as insulators. The most used semiconductors are silicon and gallium arsenide and they are combined with other elements such as phosphorus or boron to generate a difference of negative and positive charges and thus create electricity.

Electricity is defined as the movement of electrons from the negative to the positive pole. When the photons of the sun’s rays excite the electrons, they begin to move towards the positive charges and that is when the electric current is produced.

Hot and cold

Solar energy is also used to produce the heat we need in our homes, for example for heating or heating food . For this, thermal solar panels are used. They consist of parabolic mirrors that concentrate the sun’s rays and direct them towards a specific point, usually a tank with water. The water is heated and flows into our homes where it can be used for showering, cooking and even heating.

This technology can also be used to generate cold air like the one that comes out of air conditioners, this ecological alternative is known as “solar cold”. The same process is followed as before, except that a heat absorber, lithium bromide, is added, which allows the air to become cold.


Thanks to solar energy we can achieve more sustainable and ecological means of transport . Although electric vehicles already exist, a further step could be taken if the electricity they consume came from clean and renewable energies. By installing photovoltaic solar panels, the necessary electrical energy would be achieved so that cars, trams and even airplanes could move.

artificial irrigation

Solar energy technology is also used for irrigation systems in gardens, farms and crops. There are solar water pumps that allow the extraction and transport of masses of water thanks to the electricity produced by the photovoltaic solar panels that are connected to them. Additionally, some of these pumps contain batteries that store the energy to keep running when sunlight is not available.

Otros usos de la energía solar

Si tenemos en cuenta que Greenpeace estima que la energía solar fotovoltaica podrá suministrar electricidad a dos tercios de la población en 2030, y que el Consejo Mundial de Energía cree que el año 2100 el 70 % de la energía consumida será de origen solar, no está de más repasar algunas de las aplicaciones más provechosas de esta renovable:


Esta es la aplicación más básica de todas: gracias a un panel fotovoltaico, usted puede aprovechar la energía del sol para generar electricidad. Ésta le servirá para alimentar, por ejemplo, el consumo (o al menos parte de él) de energía de su hogar, su hotel, o su empresa. Su panel puede almacenar lo generado en baterías o estar directamente conectado a la red.

Agua Caliente

En zonas de sol, como la mayoría de países de Latinoamérica o España, puede aprovecharse la energía solar para calentar el agua, a través de captadores solares que generan calor. En este caso, hablamos de paneles de energía solar térmica en los que el agua se calienta y puede servir en los hogares (hoteles y hospitales), para ducharse o cocinar, y se puede aprovechar también en la calefacción.

Calefacción Y Frío Solar

Llamamos ‘frío solar’ al aire acondicionado ecológico, que, gracias al consumo de energías limpias puede representar un ahorro de hasta un 70% de la energía. La energía solar se emplea para producir este aire acondicionado eco a través de dos métodos: se recolecta mediante paneles fotovoltaicos que activan los equipos de frío, o mediante colectores solares que son ellos mismos quienes producen la energía térmica a baja temperatura.

Eso para el verano. En invierno, la calefacción también puede ser solar, como comentábamos en el apartado anterior: gracias a sistemas solares térmicos, donde se calienta el agua, que se puede acumular para calefacciones, o incluso para piscinas temperadas.

Por otro lado, hay quien lo tiene todo en uno, con paneles solares capaces de almacenar energía y convertirla en frío o calor, según se necesite.

Riego De Plantaciones

Si desde hace mucho que el riego de plantaciones se programa y se hace por goteo para no derrochar agua, el empleo de bombas solares permite un óptimo aprovechamiento del agua hasta en los lugares más remotos y necesitados de agua.

Hay varias clases de riegos solares: los de presión constante, que no necesitan baterías ni acumulación de agua, sino que se alimentan directamente de paneles solares; los de movimiento pivot para grandes fincas (el movimiento del pivot se alimenta de energía fotovoltaica); el bombeo solar directo (sin baterías, solo con paneles); o riegos completamente automatizados gracias a paneles solares.

Alumbrado De Exteriores

Gracias a los paneles solares, jardines, caminos y carreteras pueden alumbrase mediante el aprovechamiento de la energía del sol y sin necesidad de tendido eléctrico.

Durante el día se genera y almacena la energía, y por la noche se utiliza para iluminar dichos exteriores. Cada punto puede tener su propia autonomía con una pequeña placa, o puede haber una central que recoge toda la energía solar (aunque ésta requiere más espacio e infraestructura de cableado). Las luces leds funcionan en estos casos como emisores de luz económicos y de larga vida útil.

Coches Solares (Y Otros Inventos)

Aún no se han popularizado ni mucho menos masificado (¡pero todo llegará!), pero hay grandes fabricantes desarrollando tecnología para producir coches que se muevan (y corran) gracias a la energía solar. Además del carro solar, ingenieros de todo el mundo desarrollan inventos que sólo funcionan con energía solar, como aviones, computadores portátiles, duchas o bolsos solares.