Facts about solar energy © Siemens Stiftung 2017 CC BY-SA 4.0 international

Facts about solar energy

Image

Overview graphic:
Schematic representation of the flow of energy from the sun to the earth: How much energy does the sun produce and how much of this reaches the surface of the earth?

English, German, Spanish (CREA)
Image (131.1 kByte)
2019-03-21
The sun is the main supplier of energy to the earth, providing about 99.98% of the total energy contribution to the earth's climate. The vast potential offered by the technical use of solar energy as a source of energy is shown clearly by the fact that the current world energy consumption is only 0.006% of the solar energy received. The diagram provides an overview of the quantities of energy given off by the sun and arriving on the earth. It should be noted that 100% of the energy radiated by the sun is ultimately given off again by the earth back into space. The energy balance of the earth is equal at all levels from the surface of the earth into outer space.
But watch out: A tiny fragment of the radiated energy is stored by photosynthesis (approx. 0.1%) or by human activities (approx. 0.005%) and remains on the earth for a longer period of time.

Information and ideas:
To make the illustration clearer, the size ratios of the sun and the earth are not shown to scale. It is taken into account that ultimately 100% of the radiated energy is reflected back into outer space.
There are no other media directly related to this file.
Illustration
Geography; Physics
Grade 5 to 6; Grade 7 to 9; Grade 10 to 13
Middle/high school
Chart; Climate; Energy; Greenhouse effect; Nuclear fusion; Power generation; Renewable energy; Solar energy
Siemens Stiftung Media Portal
MediaHouse GmbH
© Siemens Stiftung 2017
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