Little needs to be said about the necessity of our society stepping away from non-renewable resources. As time goes on the use of resources such as coal and oil has begun to take its toll on the environment leaving many to seek alternative options. Thus far the most realistic mass scale option appears to the harnessing of solar power. Now solar power is not without its limitations, such as the need for more efficient energy storing options to provide power when sunlight is not available. However huge technological advancements in the past several years have caused such limitations to become less and less of an issue, and the technology only promises to move forward from here. Along with the home installation of solar panel systems, solar panels have also begun to enter a more financially realistic realm in which individuals with average incomes now have the opportunity to explore solar options. The following are some of the primary reasons why solar energy promises to be the next step in achieving sustainable energy:
Sunlight is a Renewable Resource
One of the primary drawbacks to gathering energy through resources such as coal and oil is that they are in limited supply. While the argument is often made the amount of time it would take for the current human population to use the entirety of the Earth’s stores of such resources is so long as to be negligible: this does not take into consideration the fact that human population growth is expanding at an exponential rate. If estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau prove to be correct the sort of population growth that will take place in the next 20-30 years could have a huge effect on the amount of resources necessary to provide energy to a world population of such magnitude. Thankfully solar energy provides an answer in that sunlight is in abundant supply and will remain in abundant supply as long as humans exist on this Earth.
Works off the Grid
Another distinct advantage that solar energy provides is the simple fact that it does not require a structure to be connected to a larger electrical grid in order to function. This sort of autonomy allows industrial, as well as residential, buildings to be built in areas without existing infrastructure. Along with this solar panels can be attached to any structure, as in the building itself could act as its own power plant in a way allowing residents and businesses to adopt a more self-reliant lifestyle.
Less Susceptible to Political Influence
Perhaps the most exciting promise of solar energy is the amount of political interference that it could remove from the energy equation. With the volatility of fossil fuel prices the political spectrum has become subject to various dealings and collusions that ultimately cloud intentions. With solar energy being free and in unlimited supply political affiliations will be less centered around profit and more around infrastructure and job creation.
Little to No Carbon Emissions
Possibly the most important aspect of solar energy is the fact that gathering solar energy itself creates absolutely no emissions. The only emissions created in the entire lifecycle of a solar panel remains in the actual manufacturing, and even this creates a negligible amount of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere. As climate change and the concern over air quality become more and more prevalent issues in the political climate this will most likely prove to be primary driving factor behind mass adoption of solar energy.
Be it manufacturing, installation, or maintenance of solar panels, the adoption of solar energy is proving to be a substantial job creator. By introducing a new industry to the world job market solar energy could be a significant factor in revitalizing various economies across the globe. More importantly these jobs only show signs of multiplying as solar energy is adopted on a more mass scale.