Solar Energy – Enough for Everyone
The main focus in science – biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, everything! – has been energy for the last several decades. Energy effects everything in our lives, from the types of homes we live in, the way we get around, the food we eat and how we eat it, the clothes we wear, and the kinds of jobs we work each day. In some areas only water power, coal, or steam powered engines are available for energy and transportation.
Fossil fuels and hydroelectric power, although the most popular options for producing energy, raise several concerns for those concerned with the environment. Energy sources are not all created equally. For example, how easy the energy source is to use? If an energy source is difficult to harness, it can make it largely unusable. This has been the case for solar energy for most of history. Hydroelectric power is often easier to harness, first with watermills and then dams. Solar Energy, or wind power, is more difficult to harness without sophisticated tools and machines. That’s why solar energy has taken time to become widely accessible.
Another concern with energy sources is if they are renewable or non-renewable. Fossil fuels, though popular, will one day run dry. There is only a certain amount of crude oil available, and will eventually run out. This has been the motivating push behind the search for alternative energy sources. Hydroelectric power is mostly renewable, as long as the water supply remains somewhat constant. Solar power is, far and away, the best possible energy source in terms of renewability. The amount of solar energy to be used is not only constant, but is basically unlimited. More solar power is available to us in one day than we can generate in 10 years of hydroelectric and fossil fuel energy production!
A final concern with energy sources is how cleanly we can utilize the power. Often the use of energy will create byproducts that are often problematic. Fossil fuels, for example, produce pollution and contaminants in the form of greenhouse gases. Chemical energy plants often create hazardous waste that is difficult to contain and dispose of. Problems range from inconvenience, to increased cost, to carcinogens, to death! Thankfully solar energy is clean and safe to utilize. It doesn’t produce any kinds of harmful byproducts or additional expenditures. If the residential or commercial solar panels are built and installed correctly then you can harness and use solar panel without and problematic consequences.
For centuries solar energy has been difficult to utilize, simply due to the cost of technological tools. But in recent decades science and engineering have made great strides to bring solar energy within our reach. It is now possible for regular citizens to use solar energy to power their homes efficiently, with the unlimited and completely safe power of the sun!