Solar batteries are a great storage units for renewable energy from the sun. In order to make this renewable energy storage compartment, natural resources which are in limited amounts are needed. This natural resources ideal for making solar batteries and solar panels are mostly produced in China. But does that make a solar battery a natural resource?
In this article, we will look into the future of natural resources and what alternatives we have for these rare elements that are monopolized in one country.
Is solar battery a natural resource?
Solar batteries are made using rare elements mined from the ground. This elements are not as rare as you think. The thing is that they are in fixed amounts. In a way if you a mine is exhausted of its natural resources, that’s the end of the mine. However, there are an alternative of using non-renewable materials for renewable energy.
Lithium metal is one of this non-renewable materials. Since this metal is light and highly reactive, it is one of the best material for making solar batteries. Lithium is found in large amounts in brines lake in the salt flats of south America.
Although, lithium is non-renewable, it does not mean the world will run out of this metal. As more solar batteries are being manufactured, more grounds will be explored and new reserves will be discovered.
Since this rare elements are found in fixed amounts, we cannot rely on them entirely. The reservoirs might be depleted, but the need for renewable energy storage is not ending soon. To deal with this issue before it become too hard to handle, we should establish plants to recycle this rare elements such as lithium.
Is solar energy a natural resource?
Solar energy is one of the renewable natural resources from the sun. Solar energy is created by chemical fusion that happens in the sun.
What makes solar energy a renewable form of energy is from the fact that the sun will be always available. The energy is harvested by solar panels and stores in solar batteries for consumption. Once the stored charge is depleted, the solar panel harvest more solar energy and recharge the solar batteries. This process is continuous and there are less or no uncertainties associated with solar energy. Solar energy is available in scarce amount only during winter and at night. But the solar batteries acts as storage compartment for this renewable energy.
What natural resource is used in solar panels?
A solar panel is not renewable. Once the panel becomes defective, you will have to buy a new one. Since the need for solar panels is still on the rise, it is better to know that solar batteries are made of natural resources found free on the earth.
Around 90% of photovoltaic cells available in the market are silicon based. Silicon is resistant to heat, water and other chemical reactants. Silica-based photovoltaic cells require addition of mineral for structural enhancement and electricity transmission purpose. Some of the commonly used mineral in different solar panels include;
- Steel and
For more advanced solar panels the minerals used apart from silica is;
The alloy of the metal used determines the efficiency of the solar panel.
Are solar batteries renewable?
Although solar batteries are made of natural resources, they are not renewable. Most solar batteries last for about 5-25 years before they are replaced. This life expectancy depend on various reasons.
Rechargeable solar batteries last for up to four years before replacement is needed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is are actual resources?
Actual resources are resources which quantity is known and is used in the present. This resources have been surveyed in years and it is possible to tell how they work, their quality and number of people using this resources.
Is solar energy a sustainable resources?
Solar energy is one of the most sustainable source of energy. You can harvest solar energy using solar panels which is later converted into electric energy to power our residence. Solar energy is also available in unlimited supply.
Are lithium batteries environmental friendly?
Despite of lithium-ion being useful in storing renewable solar energy which is environmentally friendly, the batteries themselves are not that good for the environment. They are however, the best alternative of other fossil fuels. Lithium-ion contains less toxic metals such as cadmium and lead.
Although solar batteries and solar panels are not renewable sources of energy, they play a huge part in the harvesting and storage of solar renewable energy.
Solar batteries renewable solar panels are made of natural resources that are in fixed amounts. Since the demand of this devices will continue rising, a recycling plant should be established to enhance the production of this materials in the future.