Solar Energy Pros and Cons

Topics: Photovoltaics, Solar cell, Fossil fuel Pages: 5 (2001 words) Published: November 13, 2010
Energy is defined in physics as the capacity to make things move; it is widely used in today people’s residences, a variety of industries and technology fields. Most of the energy we use now comes from fossil fuels coal, oil and natural gas, which are being consumed more rapidly than they are being replaced. That means eventually we will use up these fuels. That is why we as a society need to broaden our research to develop new forms of energy resources are for this happens.

There are kinds of energy that can be replenished in short periods of time called renewable energy, these come from sources that are frequently being recycled and are consistently less polluting than energy that is produced from fossil fuels. There are five main kinds of renewable energy: biomass, hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar. Solar energy is provide by the sun in the forms of sunlight and heat, has been utilized the least even though it is probably the most accessible. However, solar energy holds a number of benefits for societies and it has already proven to have positive effects on residential homes and industrial applications.

For many years, solar energy has been the economic choice for use in many industries where power is required at remote locations without government subsidy, as the vast majority of systems used require little electrical power. Solar energy is frequently used to power transportation signals. For example, offshore navigation buoys, lighthouses, and at an increasing rate traffic warning signals are using solar power due to its power saving efficiency. Solar power’s greatest benefit here is that it is highly reliable and requires little maintenance so it is ideal to use in places that are hard to access.

Primarily, as I mentioned above, solar power is particularly useful in remote areas where it is lack of regular electricity supply. For instance, at Singleton, New South Wales, Australia, there are 2.75 hectare solar farm whose size is approximately as large as 5 football fields. It is the largest of its scale in the southern hemisphere and produces enough electricity each year to power about 100 homes. By using this form of energy production of massive quantities of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and mercury that come from many traditional forms of fuels have been kept from being released into the atmosphere, also it greatly contributes to the decrease of harmful green house gas emissions that affect our climate.

The warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level. The Earth's average surface temperature has risen by 0.76° C since 1850. Most of the warming that has occurred over the last 50 years is very likely to have been caused by human activities. In its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), published in 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that, without further action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the global average surface temperature is likely to rise by a further 1.8-4.0°C this century, and possibly by 6.4°C in a worst case scenario. Even the lower end of this range would take the temperature increase since pre-industrial times above 2°C, the threshold beyond which irreversible and possibly catastrophic changes become more likely. Projected global warming this century is likely to trigger serious consequences for mankind and other life forms, including a rise in sea levels of between 18 and 59 cm which will endanger coastal areas and small islands, and a greater frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

The wide spread use of solar energy would not only stem the use of green house gas and the affects of climate control but also decrease the impact fossil fuels have on the environment as a whole. The BP oil spill is an example of how a blowout of...
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