Solar energy in progress and future research trends

Energy and population

The two major reasons for the increase in the energy consumption at all times are the steady population increase and strive for better social and economical developments. The world population is expected to double in the next 50 years. Such an increment in the population will take place mostly in the developing countries, because the developed countries are not expected to show any significant population increase.

The energy demand growth is linked to population growth and individual development achievements. The demand and production of energy on world scale are certain to increase in the foreseeable future. Of course, growth will definitely be greater in the developing countries than the industrialized ones. Fig. 3 shows the world population increase for the last 1000 years. Such a trend indicates exponential growth with increasing rates in recent years. In other words, values double with every passage of a fixed time duration. The recent rise in population is even more dramatic when one realizes that per capita consumption of energy is also raising compounding the effects.

Economic growth and the population increase are the two major forces which will continue to cause increase on energy demand during the coming decades. The future energy demand is shown in Table 1 for the next 30 years

Table 1

Future energy demand

1000 Moet

1990

2020

Increase (%)

Industrialized countries

4.1

4.6

12

Central and eastern Europe

1.7

1.8

5

Developing countries

2.9

6.9

137

World

8.7

13.3

52

[96]. In this table, Moet means million oil equivalent ton as energy unit.

The energy use of a country distinguishes its develop­ment scale compared to other countries. A poor citizen in a less-developed country must rely on human and beast powers. In contrast, developed countries consume large quantities of energy for transportation and industrial uses as well as heating and cooling of building spaces.

Solar energy in progress and future research trends

Spatial solar radiation estimation

In the previous sections, the modeling of solar radiation is discussed on a given site. However, in practical solar energy assessment studies, it is also necessary to have spatial (multiple …

Solar thermal collectors and applications

Extensive fossil fuel consumption in almost all human activities led to some undesirable phenomena such as atmospheric and environmental pollutions, which have not been experienced before in known human history. …

Heat transfer and losses

As explained earlier the easiest way of solar radiation collection is for low temperature heating purposes. It is well known that black surfaces absorb solar radiation more than any other …

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