Compare and Contrast Essay - Solar Power vs Coal Power

Topics: Photovoltaics, Solar energy, Fossil fuel Pages: 4 (1129 words) Published: July 4, 2011
“Compare and contrast solar power with coal powered energy”

Energy is an important factor in todays society, it is neccesary to power business, manufacturing and the transportation of goods and services all around the world. Solar powered energy is energy from the sun. This energy can be conerted into different energy like heat and electricity. Heat can be used to heat water or heat spaces, for example heating for houses, buildings or even swimming pools. Solar energy can be converted in two ways, by Photovoltaic or “solar cells” which change sunlight directly into electricity or by concentrating solar power plants which generate electricity by using heat from solar thermal collectors. Coal powered energy has played an important role in the advancement of civilization and will continue to be a major fuel source for at least the next quarter century. It is used primarly to produce electricty and heat through a dirty process which involves mining and combustion of the fuel. The two most common types of coal mining used today are surface mining and underground mining. In the long run, solar energy has greater potential than coal powered energy.

Availability of fossil fuels is a considerable factor when dealing with various energy sources. Coal is non-renewable and it is estimated that at least 40% of the world’s electricity comes from coal, and in 2005 Coal power produced 49.7% of the United State’s electricity supply. The consumption of coal is expected to increase 71% between 2004 and 2030, highly motivated by developing countries that use coal to generate about 75% of their power. There are limited stocks of coal remaining, they will be entirely depleted this millennium if we continue to burn coal in the future at the same rate we are today. Solar energy, on the other hand requires the use of the sun which is renewable and will potentially never run out regardless of how much it is used. Therefore, solar energy seems to be the better choice.

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