Heating houses by sunlight
Solar power in the UK
We use - and take for granted - a huge amount of energy in our everyday lives. Most of this comes from natural gas, crude oil (which is processed to produce fuels like petrol and diesel) and coal. All of these are direct sources of energy in their own right, and are also burned in power stations to generate electricity.
- natural gas, crude oil and coal are fossil fuels, taken from rocks in the earth. When they are burnt, they release gases like carbon dioxide. These contribute to climate change, with potentially disastrous effects on the future of our planet.
- fossil fuels are non-renewable - once we've used them all, there won't be any more.
The sun is our most powerful source of energy - every day it provides 10,000 times the total amount of energy we need on Earth. It's free, it's always there and it won't run out. But how can we harness it?