Solar Energy Essay

981 Words 4 Pages
Solar Energy

Since the beginning of humanity, people have relied on the sun for their daily needs. Whether it is to grow the crops that they eat, dry clothes or warm their family, people have relied on the resource of the sun for sustainability. It was not until people started to get the idea of managing this energy source, that people were able to fully take advantage of the sun.

In 1767, a Swiss scientist discovered a practical way to harness the energy of the sun. Horace de Saussure invented the “solar hot box,” the first devise to attract and capture the energy capabilities of the sun. The main uses of this primitive solar box consisted of cooking food, distilling water and pumping water for irrigation. It was not until the
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Among soaring prices and shortages in petroleum, the President encouraged citizens to take advantage of solar opportunities. He had solar panels installed in the White House, and offered numerous incentives to the American People who used solar heating. His encouragement was so successful that by the early 1980’s, over one-hundred national solar-heating manufacturers and suppliers were in business.

An additional boost for solar energy was the creation of the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Solar Energy Research Institute, soon to be known as National Renewable Energy Laboratory. These organizations increased knowledge and practicality of solar power usage, and kept it in the minds of the U.S. government. Because of them, the first solar power plant, Luz International, was built in 1985. This plant was responsible for huge cuts in the expense of solar power. However, after less than a decade, the plant substantially lost its practicality. Critics site a stabilization of natural gas and electricity costs, high operating and maintenance costs for the solar plant, and expiring tax incentives as main reasons for Luz International’s downfall.

While solar power is one of the cleanest, environmentally friendly ways of producing energy, its popularity has rapidly declined, especially in the United States. Currently, solar power is an excellent supplement to other sources of energy, and has been rumored to eventually…

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