What is solar energy? To put it simply, this is the energy coming from the sun. The heat and light that the sun provides are essential to life. Can you even imagine life without the sun? It will not be normal and there are lots of things and experiences that people can no longer indulge into if ever that will be the case.
Everybody relies on the sun for its benefits. Did you know that the earth gets 174 petawatts of insolation or the incoming radiation from the sun? This happens at the upper part of the atmosphere. Almost 30% gets reflected back to the space. The rest of the percentage is being absorbed by the clouds, land masses and oceans.
The Agricultural Sector
If you can think of one industry that won’t survive without the energy coming from the sun, what will be the first thing on your mind? There may be many sectors that must rely on the sun’s benefits. But the agricultural and horticulture industry will not thrive without it. They have no other options. If the sun will be gone, these sectors will die.
The sun is need by the agricultural and horticulture departments to be able to grow their produce. The latter is needed by people as well as animals. These sectors’ productivity will depend on the amount of energy that they are getting from the sun. It must be balanced in all ways. It can never too little. And it must also not be so much.
If it is too little, the plans may not be able to grow accordingly. The farmers won’t achieve the required harvests in order to feed the population. And if it is too much, this will damage the crops. This will also cause bad effects on people’s health. But if the latter is the case, people can think of ways in order to achieve the needed produce by manually trying to reduce the amount of heat that can be directed on the plants. But if the situation becomes unbearable, it might lead to drought and deaths.
Farmers must know when the sun will be up, when sunny days will be long and factors like that so that they can settle for what kinds of plants they must plant to survive the kind of weather condition. Here are only some of the things that they resort to in order to optimize the full benefits of the energy coming from the sun.
• Timed planting cycles
• Different heights of plants in between rows
• Tailored row orientation
• Mixing different varieties of crops to improve the yields
Do you ever wonder what farmers did in times like the Little Ice Age? It is said that English and French farmers resorted to fruit walls. These fruit walls help in maximizing the collection of the energy from the sun. These serve as the thermal masses. These walls help in keeping the plants warm to speed up the process of growing and ripening of produce.
The sun’s energy is also being utilized in these sectors in vital activities such as drying the crops, pumping of water, drying animals’ manure, brooding of chicks and a lot more.
It is hard to imagine the agriculture and horticulture sectors to survive without the solar energy. If there are anybody who knows the importance of the sun, these people are the first in line.