Solar energy

What is solar energy?

Solar energy is a renewable energy source which may currently be used in two different ways. You can either use solar thermal collectors, which convert the sun’s rays into a heat source that may be used, for example, for district heating or to heat water and buildings, or you can use solar cells, which are used to produce electricity.

At BeGreen, we are specialists in developing and building solar PV parks that supply sustainable electricity to the national grids in, for example, Denmark, Sweden and Poland.

How does solar power work?

Solar cells convert light into electric power. In a solar cell, light radiation is converted into electricity. When sunlight hits the solar cell, electrons in the material are energised.

It is the light itself that activates the solar cell, not the sun’s rays. This is why some electricity is produced even on cloudy days. However, capacity is still greatest when there is not a cloud in the sky. Solar cells produce direct current, and the strength of the current depends on the size of the solar cell module and the intensity of the sunlight.

Ordinary solar cells can convert 9–15 per cent of the sunlight’s energy into electricity, while the latest and best types can harness up to 20 per cent of the energy radiated. At BeGreen, we always strive to use the latest and best technologies to ensure the most efficient and stable power generation possible.

The benefits of solar energy

Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy is a virtually inexhaustible energy source that can provide green power and heating to billions of people around the world who currently rely predominantly on fossil fuels for their consumption. Thus, 90 minutes of sunshine is enough to cover the world’s energy needs for a whole year. There are many benefits of solar energy:

  • Solar energy is one of the most climate-friendly forms of energy and it has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions significantly.
  • According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar energy is the cheapest energy source in the history of the world.
  • Installing a solar PV plant on farmland protects groundwater resources, as there is no need to spray pesticides on land with solar installations.
  • The biodiversity improves, as it is possible to have a variety of different plant species on and around land with solar installations, rather than growing only one crop on the land. It also contributes to enhancing the wildlife in the area.
  • A solar PV park generates no noise or odours, ensuring peace and quiet in the local area throughout the service life of the park, which is typically between 30 and 40 years.

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Solar energy and the green transition

Solar energy is a crucial prerequisite for the green transition. Solar power is the power source that can be expanded most quickly on a large scale. A ground-based solar PV parks can be built and connected to the electricity grid in just 12-18 months.

Sweden has favourable conditions for producing solar energy. In many places in the southern parts of the country and along the coastline we have good solar radiation and sunshine in cooler temperatures actually increases the efficiency of the solar cells.

When building a solar PV park, the land does not need to be hardened and can be returned to arable land when the lifetime of the park is over. It is also possible to combine solar PV parks with agricultural activities.

The industry organisation Svensk Solenergi has compiled facts that shows that for every TWh of solar electricity, emissions can be reduced as much as the emissions from all the cars in Stockholm City (around 370 000 cars) and that for solar cells installed in northern Europe, it only takes just over a year to produce as much energy as is consumed in their manufacturing process (Source: Fraunhofer Institute, Svensk solenergi).