Power generation

The earth is a giant solar driven entity, where nearly all life and physical processes are run by solar power. ‘What?’ you say, “but wind, waves and hydropower are different sources of energy!”. They are different forms of energy, but their source is still the sun.

An installation of solar panels on the roof of UiT, campus Tromsø

Different temperatures in different areas of the atmosphere leads to different pressures. The equalization of this pressure is what we experience as wind. And the sun is the source of these temperature differences. Hydropower is driven by rainfall, collected in vast reservoirs. The rainfall is a result of evaporated water, due to the sun heating oceans and moist land. Waves are actually a result of winds moving the sea, where the wind as mentioned is originating from sunshine.

The only sources of power that are not solar are tidal forces, which in effect is ‘moon power’; the gravitational pull from the moon moves the oceans. And geothermal power, which is generated by the gravitational pressure of the earth, melting the innermost structures, and heating the earth from within.

In total, the sun provides about 10 000 times the amount of energy that is used globally in a year. In other words: If we stored all the energy from one hour of incoming sunshine,  we would have enough power to run the world for one year! This says all there is about whether or not it is possible to establish a modern society based on renewable sources. It is a question of solving the practical issues. This section will be updated with the research ARC is doing to solve these issues for arctic regions.