Investigating Renewable Energy Data from Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels

Carla McAuliffe (TERC) –, Author
Rita Freuder –, Author

March 19, 2010


School panels Austin TX for description

Using renewable sources of energy benefits the environment and contributes to more sustainable energy use. The burning of fossil fuels generates air pollution and increased CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 is the major greenhouse gas warming our planet. Using more renewable sources of energy not only reduces pollution, but also conserves the current limited supply of fossil fuels. This chapter looks at how much solar energy is generated using photovoltaic panels on rooftops or exposed ground locations at installations around the U.S. The focus is on three different websites that monitor and report solar energy production from panels at a few hundred locations.

This chapter is part of the Earth Exploration Toolbook. Each chapter provides teachers and/or students with direct practice for using scientific tools to analyze Earth science data. Students should begin on the Case Study page.

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