Solar energy provides heat and light for our planet. Solar energy is also a renewable energy source as well. The sun provides enough energy to fully supply the world’s population with power.
The limitation on using the sun for energy to power all the world’s energy needs lies in the technology. However, the technology does exist to allow you to take advantage of solar energy as a renewable energy source and decrease your use of fossil fuels. Today some people use solar water heating and others use solar panels to provide some or most of their energy needs at home. Let’s take a look at renewable solar energy and give you some information that may help you decrease your use of fossil fuels and increase your use of renewable solar energy.
Human use of fossil fuels have caused damage to the environment. It’s now time we look at alternative energy sources such as solar power to stop and maybe even reverse some of the damage that fossil fuel use has caused. Solar energy uses the power of the sun to provide a clean and renewable source of electricity.
One of the main advantages of solar energy is that it is abundant and widely available. Another of the clear advantages of solar energy is that it is friendly to the environment. Sunlight is free so when you install solar energy you will not have to pay for a kilowatt of electricity ever again. Every day the sun generates more energy than we can use. The sun will not die for another 4-5 billion years so we can be sure of it providing a clean renewable energy source for at least that long. The sun provides energy for practically all life on earth and keeps the planet warm enough for all life to exist. Despite the clear advantages of solar energy, the impact of solar power on society has been very small – less than 0.05% of the nation’s electricity comes from solar generating stations.
The idea of solar power is not new, Swiss scientist Horace de Saussure built the first solar energy technology in the 18th century – a solar collector used to cook food and heat water. In the 18th and 19th centuries there were a number of developments in renewable solar energy including Einstein’s “photoelectric effect’’, which lead to an understanding of the “photovoltaic effect’’ that is used in renewable solar panel technology today. Technology has improved vastly since the 18th century. However, despite the fact that solar energy had a good start, fossil fuels were a cheaper option. However, many consumers are now becoming more environmentally aware and want to do what they can to slow down the effects of global warming.
By cutting down on the amount of fossil fuels burned and using energy alternatives such as solar energy, health risks to life can be reduced. Many people underestimate the damage that continual burning of fossil fuels is doing to the health of our plants, animals, and to us human beings. Therefore one of the many advantages of solar energy is a decrease in health related costs. Over the past 20 years the number of people developing diseases and cancer has increased ten-fold – much of this has been blamed on the burning of fossil fuels releasing sulphur dioxide into the air. Burning fossil fuels also causes smog, acid rain, global warming and other forms of pollution.
Many people wish to make use of renewable solar energy technology because it is environmentally safe and it makes sense to use the sun as an energy source. However, there are also disadvantages to using renewable solar energy at this point in time. Even though people want to use solar energy instead of fossil fuels, for many the initial costs of installation is just to expensive.
You may have heard of solar houses. A solar house is a house that makes good use of the sun and the sun’s energy. If you are building a new house it makes sense for you to make it a solar house because it will be easier for you to take advantage of the renewable solar energy technologies. There are a number of building companies that specialize in solar heating and solar homes. Consider this option when building your next home. Although there are costs involved with the initial set up to use solar energy, you will actually be saving money in the long run. It is becoming even more affordable to install solar energy technologies. The government offers incentives if you use solar energy. Probably the most publicized incentive is the Energy Policy Act of 2005. You can receive a tax credit if you use clean energy to power your household. The act provided tax credits aimed at reducing the cost of building solar power plants and because of this, a number of solar energy plants are being brought online.
No matter where you live you can make use of solar energy!
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