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Solar Panels and Power

The push is on for the world to find a way to power our civilization, without hurting the planet that we live on. This has led many to look at the possibility of solar power as an alternative. Solar power is something that is free, plentiful and can easily be harvested. However, if this is the case, why have we not made more of a push to access solar power? It is right there, why not choose solar power?

Solar power is essentially the creation of electricity from sunlight. The sunlight is directed to solar cells, which take the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. Solar power currently provides only .2 percent of the power we use, but it can provide much, much more. The total energy that the Earth absorbs from the sun is about 3.85 million exajoules per year. This means that the sun provides our civilization with more energy in one hour, than we typically use in an entire year. The amount of energy the Earth receives from the sun in just one year is twice the amount that can ever be attained by using coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium combined.

There are many places that solar power can be installed, in order to provide electricity. In the Southwest United States, several solar plants are being set up to harness the immense energy that hits that region each year. Likewise, Europe has several solar power plants, including some of the world’s largest in Spain and Portugal. There are also plans in the works to build a massive solar plant in the Sahara Desert that could provide enough power to light up Europe for decades.

Solar power is not without its problems, which include the fact that the initial cost of the solar cells is quite high, and can be over $1,000 each. However, that being said, the cost is offset within only a few years by the immense energy savings created by solar power. Another drawback is that solar energy can only generate electricity during daylight hours and must rely on batteries for energy in the night. Cloudy days also limit the amount of energy solar panels get. However, using wind power can offset this.

Looking at the advantages of solar power, they carry no pollution and the only pollution they create is in the construction of the solar cells, which is easily offset by the amount of good they do for the environment. They are also extremely quiet, which makes it a good alternative to noisy power plants. Remote locations can also harness solar power without the need for an infrastructure going to a solar power plant. Solar panels can also be installed on the sides of buildings, and on roofs, providing those buildings with an abundance of free energy.

As can clearly be seen, solar energy is the wave of the future and the direction that humanity is heading in. Those who realize this will benefit the most in our new solar future.