We depend most of our daily operations on consumption of fossil fuel. Combustion of hydrocarbon for transportation and burning of coal to generate electricity. Only a fraction of our consumption comes from renewable energy source (wind, solar, hydro-electric, biofuel). It is estimated that Earth’s surface receives about 1.17E10-17 Watts (1). This estimate is taken with consideration of Albedo, the energy lost due to reflection of the clouds, atmosphere, and air molecules (2). If we are to estimate how much energy the sun provides each day it would be around 84 Terawatts, while our worldwide consumption is estimated at 12 Terawatts (2). However, not all of this energy is utilized across the globe. While Solar energy has the potential to move our society into a cleaner world, it has been not fully realized.
At the University of Houston, we have facilities that can be modify into Solar Energy collectors. Buildings that have the potential to collect as much energy as possible are not equiped with a system to do so. It can be said to most educational campuses across the U.S even to the extent of businesses and commercial facilities. What we have facilitated but not implemented yet is installing parking shades that comes equiped with solar panels or install already existing parking shades with solar panels. As a result, over the course of the day, we can generate electricity, charge electric vehicles, reduce our annual electricity expenses and carbon emissions.