Solar Energy: Our Renewable Power SourceSolar energy is just one of the ways humans are trying to fix our environment. Solar power is not only the cleanest form of energy available to us, but it is also a renewable energy source. Solar energy is not in danger of running low or even running out like other sources. Many of earth's natural processes need solar radiation in order to properly function. This solar radiation is simply the large amount of light and heat being emitted from our sun. When you think of the sun's energy, it seems like an intangible thing and may even seem impossible to regulate and use effectively as a power source here on earth. However, this process, while complex and difficult in its discovery, is now very possible.
The practice emits no pollution and uses a renewable resource. Waste materials from development of solar cells can be controlled through existing methods. Fossil fuel burning is one of the main contributors to our out of control carbon dioxide production. If we substitute fossil fuel burning with solar power, we can greatly reduce the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere, the main contributor to global warming, and thus help to save our planet.
There are two types of solar energy:
Light energy - A technology (semiconductor-based) that converts PV (photo-voltaic cells) to light energy directly into electric currents; can be stored and used later or used right away. This technology uses PV panels which provides a renewable energy source, but these panels cost much more and convert energy at a much slower rate than with the use of thermal energy.
Thermal energy - A technology that directly heats water for use in a household, business, or any other building onto which the evacuated tube system can be installed. This technology allows individuals and businesses to significantly cut electricity costs by using the evacuated tube system in place of electric or gas water heaters. This system also significantly reduces CO2 production by using renewable solar energy to heat water rather than an electric or gas company that pumps CO2 into our environment.
Reasons to Go Solar:
The sooner we can tap into the full potential of solar power, the sooner our earth will be cleaned. At the moment, solar energy has not been studied or developed enough to produce for massive energy demands. With the investigations so far, solar energy can efficiently power certain lower-demand appliances, from calculators to emergency telephones to satellites. But simply imgaine how the world could change if we could fully understand and use solar power. Right now, there are two futures humans can look at. Many imagine with dismay the one where humanity runs itself into the ground and lives in tunnels and caves, beneath a grim, toxic wasteland. It is not unfeasible to foresee the outcome
of our current situation as being such. But there are also many people who believe we can get ourselves out of this crisis, and see a fresh, pure future, practically free of pollution. While the latter will take much longer than the first to bring about, it is obvious which one we would prefer.
- Availiable solar energy from the sun is much greater than the energy humans use. (89 petawatts: 15 terawatts)
- Solar power requires little to no maintenance
- The world uses less energy by burning fossil fuels than the amount of solar energy the earth receives in a minute
- Tropical oceans intercept 560 trillion gigajoules per year; enough to power the earth 1600 times over
Looking at the amount of research going into finding a solution, it is not hard to side with the more optimistic viewpoint of our future. Solar power is just one of the many solutions being investigated in the scientific world, and it, along with all the rest, has come a long way and is close to becoming a major part of our environmental restoration. There is no single solution. There are only helpful contributions that make up individual percentages of the entire restoration, such as using solar energy, that eventually add up to one big solution. Humans are going to have to alter their lifestyle to fit nature in as a part of their considerations, and by 'going solar' and finding other helpful ways to reduce their affect on the environment, they are able to take part in fixing the planet.
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