What will the United States, fifty years fromnow be like? Would it be in total disarray with wars; trying to capture thelast oil reserves; would it be heavily overpopulation, and the depletion of oneof our efficient sources of energy, oil, (Bode 81)? The United States need an energy sourcethat is an alternative to using fossil fuels. What then can the UnitedStates use as an alternative source of energy? A renewable form of energy is the answer.Thesis Renewable energy in its many forms isan excellent source of energy for our future energy use because it isrenewable, economical, and safe for the environment and solar power is an excellentsource of alternative energy because it is renewable, economical, and doesn’t pollutethe environment.Renewable energy is produced from naturalprocesses such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat. These processesare constantly renewed and never exhausted.
Renewable energy technologies rangefrom solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity hydro, biomass and biofuels fortransportation. Here is a list of the most utilized alternative energysources: 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 transportation fuels; Earth’s internal heat: can be used for heating and electricity production; Water: potential and kinetic energy of flowing water can be tapped to produce electricity or mechanical taskSolar energy technologies are of three primary types:photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), and solar thermal. Althoughall three aim to maximize the capture of usable energy from sunlight, theirapproaches are radically different.
PV cells convert the energy of sunlightdirectly into electricity, while CSP converts concentrated heat energy fromsunlight into electricity. Solar thermal uses sunlight’s energy to heat waterand buildings with no intermediate conversion to electricity.For many years solarenergy is considered an outstanding worldwide energy source. Where the sunshines there will always be solar energy.
Solar energy and solar power are different terms. Solar power is converting sunlight intoelectricity whereas solar energy is radiant light and heat from the sun that isharnessed using a range of technologies. The potential of solar energy withtechnologies and the reductions in climate changes could provide most of the world’senergy by 2060 (IEA report in 2011). I In the United States we use the mostamount of fossil fuels, a non-renewable form of energy. According to (Chris Woodford), theavailability and rising cost of oil and other petroleum-based fuels are slowlydiminishing. The demand for fuel will double in the next 40 years(International Energy Agency 39).
Global emissions will escalate by similarmargins within the same period. This is a great challenge to world leaders andgovernments. The traditional sources ofenergy emit a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If people continueto rely on fossil fuels, then the underlying effects of global warming willcontinue to escalate in the coming years.
Besides, the extraction and mining ofconventional fuels causes massive destruction to the environment. In the NigerDelta, the extraction of oil has led to destruction of the natural ecosystems.Massive losses of fish in this area are evident. Massive relocation of peoplehas 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 ledto spilling of oil into the ocean. The outcome was clear as natural ecosystemsand life were threatened. These cases indicate the overall cost of depending onfossil fuels.This fact alone has caused scientists all overthe world to search for alternative source to fossil fuels. Much of their attentionis leaning toward solar energy. Solar energy, unlike other sources ofconventional energy, is relatively cheap after initial installation. Solarenergy does not require expensive and ongoing raw materials, such as coal oroil, and there is no operational labor for power production. Even as prices onfossil fuels keep increasing, the production price per watt of solar energy hasreduced 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 fromthe national energy grid, is a significant advantage for people in isolatedlocations. For this reason, solar energyis more cost-effective and practical for self-reliant societies, or those wholive in rural or way out areas (Bode 27). It is cheaper to build solar energypanels than to install miles and miles of power lines, which require more rawmaterials. As noted by Kong Pharith, generaldirector of IMB Cambodia, a Phnom Penh-based company that installs home solarpanels, said that the government need to take the lead in investing in solarenergy. Foreign investors are watching for the government to make that movetowards more investment in solar energy. The world’s supply of oil is drying up , thus the UnitedStates must turn their attention to new sources of energy.
“Solar power is thesustainable power source of the future” (Pharith). According to the article Solar Power Can Help Fuel the Future byGlenn Hamer found on the Gale Opposing Viewpoint database states “The forecastfor solar energy in the twenty-first century is sunny. Solar will push thetrend of safe, affordable, and reliable distributed energy. As we head deeperinto the 21st century, it is predicted that the electricity systemmay come to resemble the Internet—with disparate points and no one center ofactivity. In such a system, photovoltaics integrated into building, roofs andwindows will be a key component. This is highly noted in the Southwest,concentrating solar power (CSP) stations will provide a significant percentageof the solar energy will soon be able to deliver electricity to homes at a costequal 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 thatAmerica needs to invest in solar technology are as follows: A) It uses thesun’s energy to produce electricity; B) It does not destroy the ecosystems as whenmining for fossil fuels, C) It is clean and renewable; and D) Its reserves areexpected to be around for billions of years (Nelson 64). This isone of the many reasons that America must invest more in solar power. Some will object to solar power eitherfor them selves or love ones. Many view that to build solar panels and storethe energy is too expensive. Others fear the emission of greenhouse gases andthe ecological effects on the environmental species. It is time to payattention to the public interest in solar energy/power as our alternativeenergy source (AES). The public would be more likely to committo an AES after they experience some of the remarkable benefits of solar powerin their lives.
Therefore solar power can be an effective alternative energysources in the future for the United States.Theyalso argue that solar panels require a lot of space for installation, and thismight hinder its application in limited space. In many states where the government is cracking down on carbonemissions the states are giving tax breaks to subsidize the cost ofinstallation…Renewableenergy in its many forms is an excellent source of energy for our future energyuse because it is renewable, economical, and safe for the environment solarpower is an excellent source of alternative energy because it is renewable,economical, and doesn’t pollute the environment. In summary, solar energy isthe most available source of energy. Indeed, it is the most significant sourceo energy as opposed to the other sources of energy.
Solar energy does notdepend on the use of chemicals or gases in its production. In essence, it isthe simplest and cleanest source of fuel. Besides, solar energy is cheaper andpractical to produce. People who oppose the use of solar energy argue thatsolar panels are expensive to install. It is the belief that an increasingnumbers of people will continue to embrace solar energy as the best alternativeto fossil fuels. Solar energy has the potential of becoming the mostsignificant source of energy in the nearest future.
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