What is solar energy and its importance

Solar energy is the most important renewable source of energy to the earth comes from the sun in the form of radiation. The solar energy is necessary and most abundant form of energy to the earth which carry out various process between the five components(cryosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere) of the earth.

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Earth receives solar energy approx. 1360 W/m2 to the atmosphere and approx. 1000 W/m2 to the earth’s surface. Some of the solar energy from the sun is reflected back to the outer space from the atmosphere. Solar energy is absorbed by the earth’s surface, oceans, and atmosphere.

Solar energy is responsible for:

Atmospheric circulation:

The atmospheric circulation is a movement of air in large scale. This movement takes place when equator creates a low pressure ( Low pressure is created where there high temperature) and also in the polar region where there is high pressure ( High pressure is created where there low temperature)

The thermal radiation from the sun have a higher influence on the equator of the earth which creates a low pressure. Due to very high temperature in the equator, the air starts to rise upwards upto the tropopause. As air can’t go above tropopause will start to diverge to north and south. After moving towards north / south, the air will cool down, and it will get subside in 30 degrees latitude. And then the air will go to both the direction. It will create a cycle between 30 degrees latitude and equator called “ Hadley cell “.

Polar region has cold temperature which creates high pressure. As air moves toward high pressure to low pressure the air will move from poles to equator and subside when the temperature is high in 60 degrees latitude and move to the both direction. It will create cycle between poles (90 degrees latitude) to 60 degrees latitude called " Polar Cell ".

Due to these two cells, between 30 degrees latitude to 60 degrees latitude a cell form called “ Ferrel Cell ”. And all basically know as atmospheric circulation.

This forms a circulation of the air which takes place with the help of solar energy and is responsible for the weather pattern and wind.

Cyclone and anticyclone:

The cyclone and anticyclone is a phenomenon which is much related to atmospheric circulation. Cyclone are form mostly in the tropical region and the temperate region. happen when air coming high pressure region trying to submerge into low pressure, but deflect due to coriolis effect. Result in air rising up to the tropopause and condense into heavy cloud.

Thus when a cyclone comes to the land, it comes with heavy wind and heavy rain and flood like situation.

Anticyclone are form mostly in the polar region and junction between hadley and ferrel cells. This form due to travelling of air from high pressure to low pressure is diverted by the coriolis effect.

This results in clear skies and low rainfall in the region. Thus most of the low rainfall and desert region comes in anticyclone region.

Water cycle:

Water cycle is the process of circulation of the water of the ocean, sea and even plant, etc with the help of solar energy.

When solar energy heats up the water, it turns into a gaseous state as water vapour. These water vapour evaporates in the air up to the higher altitude where the temperature gets low.

Low temperature condenses water vapour into tiny droplets. The higher concentration of these tiny droplets form clouds.

This cloud rains on the surface of the earth and most of it into the ocean. This water which comes on the surface of the earth due to rain, also ends up into the ocean through rivers, streams, etc completing a cycle.

Thus, solar energy is the most important in the water cycle.

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Photosynthesis is a process carried out by plants and other organisms. This process is basically conversion of solar energy which comes as light to chemical energy. The process took place with the help of carbon dioxide and water.

The energy is used as a fuel by plant and organism. This chemical energy is stored in the form of carbohydrate basically in form of sugar.

Thus, photosynthesis is a process takes place with the help of solar energy which is responsible for consumption of CO2 and release of oxygen in the atmosphere.

Use of solar energy:

Many processes are carried out by solar energy. Buy solar energy can also be used for source of energy for us.

The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth's non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.

As most of us may know, solar energy is used by us with the help of solar panels. This solar panels are known as photovoltaic panels which convert solar energy which is in the form of light energy into electricity.

But not just that the solar energy can be used for many purposes.

One of the most common uses of solar energy is for water heating. The most common types of solar water heaters are evacuated tube collectors and glazed flat plate collectors usually used for domestic hot water; and unglazed plastic collectors used mainly to heat swimming pools.

Solar energy is also been use of heating, cooling and ventilation for homes. Solar cooker is also one of the examples of using solar for cooking purpose. Solar cookers use sunlight for cooking, drying and pasteurization.

Water treatment is also done through solar energy. For this solar distillation is used which make saline or brackish water potable.


We can see the solar energy is the most important source of energy of our earth. Most of the crucial process are carried out of the earth with the help of solar energy. But in today's world, more solar energy is trapped by the earth because of the higher greenhouse effect due higher emission of the greenhouse gases resulting in global warming.

This all is resulting in climate change which is changing the weather pattern and creating the issue. But using solar power can be the solution for this. We should consider using the power of solar energy as fuel to make our planet better again.

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