What will the United States, fifty years from
now be like? Would it be in total disarray with wars; trying to capture the
last oil reserves; would it be heavily overpopulation, and the depletion of one
of our efficient sources of energy, oil, (Bode 81)? The United States need an energy source
that is an alternative to using fossil fuels. What then can the United
States use as an alternative source of energy? A renewable form of energy is the answer.
Thesis Renewable energy in its many forms is
an excellent source of energy for our future energy use because it is
renewable, economical, and safe for the environment and solar power is an excellent
source of alternative energy because it is renewable, economical, and doesn’t pollute
Renewable energy is produced from natural
processes such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat. These processes
are constantly renewed and never exhausted. Renewable energy technologies range
from solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity hydro, biomass and biofuels for
transportation. Here is a list of the most utilized alternative energy
Sunlight: the solar photon flux can be
converted to heat, electricity or chemical energy;
Wind: the motion of air molecules can
be harvested in wind turbines that spin the shaft of electric generators
or in windmills;
Biomass: organic materials can be used
for cooking and heating, as well as to produce electricity and liquid
Earth’s internal heat: can be used for heating and
Water: potential and kinetic energy of
flowing water can be tapped to produce electricity or mechanical task
Solar energy technologies are of three primary types:
photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), and solar thermal. Although
all three aim to maximize the capture of usable energy from sunlight, their
approaches are radically different. PV cells convert the energy of sunlight
directly into electricity, while CSP converts concentrated heat energy from
sunlight into electricity. Solar thermal uses sunlight’s energy to heat water
and buildings with no intermediate conversion to electricity.
For many years solar
energy is considered an outstanding worldwide energy source. Where the sun
shines there will always be solar energy. Solar energy and solar power are different terms. Solar power is converting sunlight into
electricity whereas solar energy is radiant light and heat from the sun that is
harnessed using a range of technologies. The potential of solar energy with
technologies and the reductions in climate changes could provide most of the world’s
energy by 2060 (IEA report in 2011).
I In the United States we use the most
amount of fossil fuels, a non-renewable form of energy. According to (Chris Woodford), the
availability and rising cost of oil and other petroleum-based fuels are slowly
diminishing. The demand for fuel will double in the next 40 years
(International Energy Agency 39). Global emissions will escalate by similar
margins within the same period. This is a great challenge to world leaders and
governments. The traditional sources of
energy emit a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If people continue
to rely on fossil fuels, then the underlying effects of global warming will
continue to escalate in the coming years. Besides, the extraction and mining of
conventional fuels causes massive destruction to the environment. In the Niger
Delta, the extraction of oil has led to destruction of the natural ecosystems.
Massive losses of fish in this area are evident. Massive relocation of people
has occurred in this region as people move to create space for oil exploration.
Not to mention that manmade disasters are inevitable. We could cite the the Gulf of Mexico oil rid explosion that led
to spilling of oil into the ocean. The outcome was clear as natural ecosystems
and life were threatened. These cases indicate the overall cost of depending on
This fact alone has caused scientists all over
the world to search for alternative source to fossil fuels. Much of their attention
is leaning toward solar energy. Solar energy, unlike other sources of
conventional energy, is relatively cheap after initial installation. Solar
energy does not require expensive and ongoing raw materials, such as coal or
oil, and there is no operational labor for power production. Even as prices on
fossil fuels keep increasing, the production price per watt of solar energy has
reduced by 60% in the past five years, according to (Kost & Hans 29). This,
together with the fact that solar energy power plants may be independent from
the national energy grid, is a significant advantage for people in isolated
locations. For this reason, solar energy
is more cost-effective and practical for self-reliant societies, or those who
live in rural or way out areas (Bode 27). It is cheaper to build solar energy
panels than to install miles and miles of power lines, which require more raw
As noted by Kong Pharith, general
director of IMB Cambodia, a Phnom Penh-based company that installs home solar
panels, said that the government need to take the lead in investing in solar
energy. Foreign investors are watching for the government to make that move
towards more investment in solar energy.
The world’s supply of oil is drying up , thus the United
States must turn their attention to new sources of energy. “Solar power is the
sustainable power source of the future” (Pharith). According to the article Solar Power Can Help Fuel the Future by
Glenn Hamer found on the Gale Opposing Viewpoint database states “The forecast
for solar energy in the twenty-first century is sunny. Solar will push the
trend of safe, affordable, and reliable distributed energy. As we head deeper
into the 21st century, it is predicted that the electricity system
may come to resemble the Internet—with disparate points and no one center of
activity. In such a system, photovoltaics integrated into building, roofs and
windows will be a key component. This is highly noted in the Southwest,
concentrating solar power (CSP) stations will provide a significant percentage
of the solar energy will soon be able to deliver electricity to homes at a cost
equal to that of natural gas and coal (Clayton).
The American government needs to invest in solar energy because
(1) it is renewable, (2) it is a cheap after initial installation costs, and
(3) investing would create jobs to promote the economy. Another reasons that
America needs to invest in solar technology are as follows: A) It uses the
sun’s energy to produce electricity; B) It does not destroy the ecosystems as when
mining for fossil fuels, C) It is clean and renewable; and D) Its reserves are
expected to be around for billions of years (Nelson 64). This is
one of the many reasons that America must invest more in solar power.
Some will object to solar power either
for them selves or love ones. Many view that to build solar panels and store
the energy is too expensive. Others fear the emission of greenhouse gases and
the ecological effects on the environmental species. It is time to pay
attention to the public interest in solar energy/power as our alternative
energy source (AES).
The public would be more likely to commit
to an AES after they experience some of the remarkable benefits of solar power
in their lives. Therefore solar power can be an effective alternative energy
sources in the future for the United States.
also argue that solar panels require a lot of space for installation, and this
might hinder its application in limited space.
In many states where the government is cracking down on carbon
emissions the states are giving tax breaks to subsidize the cost of
energy in its many forms is an excellent source of energy for our future energy
use because it is renewable, economical, and safe for the environment solar
power is an excellent source of alternative energy because it is renewable,
economical, and doesn’t pollute the environment. In summary, solar energy is
the most available source of energy. Indeed, it is the most significant source
o energy as opposed to the other sources of energy. Solar energy does not
depend on the use of chemicals or gases in its production. In essence, it is
the simplest and cleanest source of fuel. Besides, solar energy is cheaper and
practical to produce. People who oppose the use of solar energy argue that
solar panels are expensive to install. It is the belief that an increasing
numbers of people will continue to embrace solar energy as the best alternative
to fossil fuels. Solar energy has the potential of becoming the most
significant source of energy in the nearest future.
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