The Sun is a mighty source of power in the Solar System. The Sun provides energy to the Earth. Solar energy, simply put, is the energy derived from the Sun; it may be converted into electricity, heat, lighting, or fuel. There are two types of solar technology – passive and active technologies. Active solar energy is used in the production of fuel, heat, and electricity using a technology known as solar photovoltaic. Passive solar energy, on the other hand, produces heat and also provides lighting. Of all energy sources, solar energy has proved to be the most clean energy source and the one in abundance. This type of energy is capable of renewing itself, it does not destroy natural resources and it never runs out. Solar energy is harnessed by means of different methods. These include solar heating and cooling, concentrated solar power and photovoltaics. Even though it is expensive to store solar energy currently, the use of solar power must be encouraged globally because this energy is friendly to the environment, renewable and found in abundance.
Solar photovoltaic energy is the most common type of solar power. It involves the use of a semi-conductor to produce electricity; that is, when the Sun rays hit the electrical semiconductor, it produces an electric charge which goes through a circuit and to anything that uses electricity (Galbraith). Passive solar, on the other hand, uses the Sun’s energy through the design and construction of a structure or building. Buildings using passive solar are fully reliant on solar energy and need very little use of other sources of energy. Such buildings tend to be cost-efficient, especially since the cost of solar energy is close to, if not, zero.
Solar heating involves the production of hot water or hot air. A solar collector concentrates heat into water pipes or air conditioners, thus making hot air or water available.
Few groups of people consider solar energy a joke or, as Bill Gates described it, “cute”. The problem is that nobody will give it a chance and see what really this type of energy can do. Solar energy is, first of all, environmentally friendly (Brad). People do not have to dig into the ground, leaving man made landscapes that making our earth barren and useless, to extract it. To some point, such land remains toxic. Solar energy is all about using the Sun rays. This energy is already present and what is required is just to harness it. Relying more on this environmentally friendly type of energy would drastically help to reduce global warming. All the toxins from the use of other sources of energy have damaged the atmosphere, but once the world switches to solar energy, the environment may revert to normal. Clean air will be everywhere and it might actually be a new start for mankind and the world.
Using solar energy will help us preserve our land and use it to grow food or even build housing projects for the homeless. At the moment, areas where fossil fuel is being mined are too toxic for inhabitation. Radioactive materials and intoxicated water make it a dangerous place to live.
The use of solar energy potentially reduces people’s cost of living. Compared to other sources of energy, it is one of the cheapest ones available. Other than the cost of buying installation materials and some maintenance costs every now and then, the energy delivered from the Sun is practically free. This practically brings down the cost of living drastically since most of the bills paid are energy bills for electricity, hot water, gas, and warm air. The problem with solar energy is that the Sun is not always available, and without the sun there is no energy. On a cloudy day, or during rainy or snowy seasons, the Sun is not available so frequently; as a result, its rays do not reach the surface of the Earth that much. Thus, in anticipation of such occasions, solar technology has been built in a way that they have storage devices. Hence, on such days, people use backup energy sources or conserved solar energy.
Solar energy can be the key to increasing the agricultural production of the USA. Horticulture and agriculture can grow rapidly due to the use of solar energy in green houses instead of artificial light and electricity (Krugman). Plants respond better to the Sun’s energy than to artificial energy. People may extract solar energy to provide millions of greenhouses with electric light. This is not just cost-efficient in terms of running business but also helps provide funds for expansion and growth of the sector that has struggled to develop. The USA spends millions of dollars on importing food and fruits from other states. Solar energy could help reduce the amount the country spends on importing food and saving funds that may be used to help develop other sectors.
Though cheap, solar energy is not so reliable. An example is during winter season. The Sun’s energy rarely reaches the Earth, and when it does, it is merely not enough. This is the only significant advantage other sources of energy have over solar energy with regards to deficiency (Dickerson). Solar energy, its source being the Sun, can never run out unless the Sun itself no longer exists, which is impossible to imagine since it means life itself will seize to exist.
When it comes to other energy sources, the situation is not the same. Fossil fuels contain carbon, coal, petroleum, and natural gas in abundance. Some fossil fuels tend to be volatile but others are not. Fossil fuels, to some extent, are considered to be a renewable source of energy since they are formed by the decomposition of dead plants and animals. The only problem, however, is that the decomposition period takes millions of years to form fossil fuels. That is why this source of energy is widely regarded as a non-renewable one. The remaining fossil fuel reserves are being depleted at a faster rate than the new ones emerge. This means that fossil fuels will at some point seize to exist. As a result, people will have to rely on more sustainable sources of energy.
Oil is another source of energy that the world heavily relies on. To extract it, oil wells are drilled deep into the Earth’s crust till they reach oil. Then oil is pumped up from the wells. These wells also produce gas, which is also mined as a source of energy. Oil is a great source of energy and people utilize it to run machines globally (Galbraith). The only problem with oil is that it is a non-renewable source of energy. With the increased rate of drilling all over the word in search for oil, this resource will soon vanish.
There will be a deficiency in oil at some point and that will be a major issue since the world is overly reliant on the resource and its products.
In comparison to other traditional power sources, solar energy is the best one because of a number of reasons. First, considering the growth in population all over the world, energy production will have to increase for it to be able to meet the demands of the ever growing populace. This clearly will lead to the fast depreciation of all non-renewable sources of energy (Brad). It may seem a long way from now, but the earlier we prepare, the better. The utilization of the energy of the Sun may lower the speed at which mankind uses other energy sources. Since humans will deploy the use of solar energy in most households, the utilization of other sources of energy will reduce, hence providing a greater life span to other energy sources. At the current rate, people might not even notice the process of depletion. The problem is that politics plays a big role in ensuring such projects do not see the light of day. Most politicians are major investors in the energy producing companies, hence in the interest of lining their own pockets with money such projects are crashed as soon as they begun.
Solar energy can revolutionize the way people live. The USA will be much more self-reliant if it produces its own energy instead of importing it. As a result, it can save on the other sources of energy before they become completely non-existent. Once fossil fuels and oil are depleted, the ground where they were being mined will be left bare and will not be able to produce anything due to the toxicity levels; to crown it all, such land will be inhabitable (Dickerson). People end up creating man made landscapes that simply destroy the beauty of nature.
However, with the consistent use of renewable energy, the Earth can have a chance to produce additional resources and its land can be repurposed (Dickerson). The issue of seasons when the Sun is not available can easily be fixed by creating large energy storing devices that provide people with conserved energy when needed. Solar energy is the future of the USA. As much as people may choose to remain blind to that fact, the truth is that at one point all non-renewable energy sources will seize to exist. Solar energy, however, will still be the only constant source of energy that can be relied on till the world ends. The fear of people being jobless if the use of solar energy is introduced is baseless. Solar panels still need to be produced and maintained, so there will be plenty of work to fill the world with solar panels.
Solar energy can be the best alternative to the conventional fossil fuel. Solar energy is not only eco-friendly but it is also quite economical. The price of solar panels has been reducing drastically in order to encourage large scale production of solar based energy products. California is one of the states in the USA to fully embrace the use of solar panels as a source of energy. This move has significantly lowered the cost of living for some residents. The matter is that other sources of energy will inevitably vanish.
People need to embrace solar energy and shun the use of energy sources that have a negative impact on the environment.