Compare and Contrast Essay - Solar Power vs Coal Power

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“Compare and contrast solar power with coal powered energy”

Energy is an important factor in todays society, it is neccesary to power business, manufacturing and the transportation of goods and services all around the world. Solar powered energy is energy from the sun. This energy can be conerted into different energy like heat and electricity. Heat can be used to heat water or heat spaces, for example heating for houses, buildings or even swimming pools. Solar energy can be converted in two ways, by Photovoltaic or “solar cells” which change sunlight directly into electricity or by concentrating solar power plants which generate electricity by using heat from solar thermal collectors. Coal powered energy has played an important role in
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Electricity costs in the United States average 7 cents per kilowatt-hour. A currently inexpensive solar system running at an average of 30% peak capacity due to no sun at night or cloudiness which produces 3 kilowatts will cost $6,552. This system will take about 10 years before it costs less than paying for electricity which has been made from coal. However there are some cases where solar energy makes economic sense. Photovoltaics power remote data storage devices can be highly beneficial where electricity is not available such as poor developing countries. Countries such as Africa use inexpensive solar collection devices for cooking and heating water, special design of new houses and buildings can greatly reduce the cost since much of the house becomes an effective solar collector. At the moment the price of coal is relatively cheap and stable due to easy access and an abundant amount that will last up to 250 years longer. Although solar energy is at disadvantage right now, the availability of “free” sunlight will continue to contribute to the development of new ideas that can make solar power more affordable in the future.

The biggest concern associated with coal energy is the affect it has on the environment. It is a dirty fuel that pollutes the air, water and land. Burning coal releases harmful waste such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide,
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