One of the advantages of solar energy versus wind and tide produced energy is its dependability. Generating electricity from the wind and ocean are alternative ways to move away from dependence on fossil fuels. However, both are not as dependable as solar energy. The wind may not blow for several days at a time and the technology for producing usable power from ocean tides is in its infancy. One thing that most people around the world can count on is the sun coming out every day and shining brightly.
The use of solar power is becoming more widespread as society sees the insidious side effects of dependence on fossil fuels as an energy source. Burning coal to generate electricity produces a huge amount of air pollution.
The American Lung Association released a report in March, 2011 that claimed that coal fired electricity plants released more air pollutants than any other U.S. industrial pollution source. These pollutants include mercury, arsenic and dioxin.
When you also take into account the devastating effects of an oil spill, like the BP Gulf of Mexico spill, then it becomes clear that society has to look for alternatives to fossil fuels.
Advantages of Solar Energy
One of the many advantages of solar energy is the fact that it is almost unlimited in the potential for energy gathering. The sun rises every day and can provide a source of energy for 8 to 14 hours; solar panels can gather free energy for much of that time. The more solar panels you use around your home, the more energy you are able to produce. For this reason, many of the leading governments of the world are making the implementation of solar energy power systems a high priority.
Solar technology is always improving. As more and more people start to see the benefits of solar power the demand for more solar powered products increases. Solar power technology have become more efficient in collecting energy from the sun, in converting that energy into electricity, and more efficient in storing the electricity generated.
Together, the improvement of these components made solar energy systems efficient and compact enough that they can supply all the power needs of a home. In the long run, that means a lot of electricity bill savings and carbon emission reduction.
Solar has many advantages though like most things it isn’t without it’s flaws. The most obvious being energy from solar panels cannot be generated at night or during a cloudy day. However compared to the advantages this is a very minor issue.
Additional Advantages of Solar Energy
Installing solar panels initially can be a little expensive but once they are installed there is very little additional cost in the future. Although there are costs associated with solar panel production, once a solar panel array is in place, it generates electricity at no financial cost and without generating waste. Because sunlight is available free during the day, there is no external fuel source to be purchased.
Installing a solar power system can save you money and over the long term pay for itself in reduced future electrical costs. Think about how much you spend on your energy bills at the moment and how much you could save in the long run by switching to solar power
Solar Panels are very low maintenance. They have no moving parts so it is near impossible to break them. Once they are installed the only thing you have to worry about it an occasional cleaning. Solar panels are quiet and when mounted on rooftops are barely noticeable.
One of the most positive, and perhaps the most obvious, effects of solar power generation on the environment is the production of clean energy from a renewable source. Solar generated electricity reduces the need for fossil fuels and allows for the closure of polluting coal power plants.
Making electricity with solar panels can replace digging for oil and natural gas, which is a noisy, dirty process with a severe impact on the surrounding environment. Solar electric systems produce no carbon emissions and provide electricity for use in homes and industry that would otherwise have to come from conventional sources.
Solar energy, whether gathered by photovoltaic panels, solar-thermal panels or utilized in passive solar designs, is a much newer and younger form of energy than the more established methods of using fossil fuels to generate power. Its potential to replace or supplement older power sources is high, and the many advantages of solar energy over the continued reliance on fossil fuels should hasten solar energy’s future development.