Sun is a medium sized star which rotates around its axis. Its age is estimated at 4600 million years, which is considered to half of its lifespan. The sun is composed of about 75% hydrogen, 24% helium and 1% other elements.
The total power that the sun reveals in the surrounding area is 3,8 x 1026 W from every square meter of surface solar radiation is emitted with power of 63.11 MW. Earth’s distance from the sun is about 150 million kilometers and the total output of solar radiation received only an insignificant part. However, the amount of energy that Earth receives is immense and annually is 10,000 times the current annual energy needs of mankind.
Solar energy is due to Earth electromagnetic radiation, which can be converted into various forms of energy: thermal, chemical, mechanical, electrical. Most successful is its conversion into thermal energy at this conversion can be reached temperatures up to 35,000 degrees Celsius. For everyday use and for use in many industrial processes, most applications are devices that operate at temperatures below 1000 ° C. The spectrum of use of solar energy as alternative is great: to produce heat (for hot water, heating and cooling of rooms, cooking), to produce electricity (photovoltaic, thermal systems), transport (solar vehicles), natural lighting, for desalination, for photosynthesis, etc..
How much Macedonia uses sun energy as free ecological resource?
According to research experts, Macedonia has excellent geographical and climatic conditions for utilizing solar energy. The characteristics of solar radiation indicate that the intensity of solar radiation in our country is favorable for energy and the maximum is in western Macedonia – Ohrid, where he reached in 1590 kWh/m2. The average number of sunny hours in Macedonia during the 12 months, taking the range of measurements from 2001 to 2009, was 2199.9 hours of sunshine annually. Although Macedonia is surrounded by benefits in terms of abundance of sunny days throughout the year, the researchers warn that here is a very small percentage of utilization of solar energy. It is due to many reasons – the low economic standards, legislation that will offer long term support, strategic commitment and dedication, awareness among politicians and citizens and so forth.
According to the project for sectoral cooperation in financing energy efficiency in buildings within the EU regulations and binding documents whose deadline for implementation is 2011-2012, it is expected to raise awareness about the impact of EU accession on the construction sector and construction materials to contribute to the development of financial instruments and mechanisms in order to develop a market for energy efficient products and methods in the partner countries.
Projects related to solar energy and its application in Macedonia noted that solar energy can be our important energy resource because the estimated cost of 1 kWh heat over 25 years working solar systems is 0.017 euros. On the other hand the operation of solar systems is not related to emissions and thus environmental impact is positive. It is estimated that if Macedonia ensure the installation of 700 MW capacity solar thermal systems, will be open at least 3,000 new jobs in research and development, education, training, production, design, installation, servicing, maintenance, trading, etc.