Solar Energy Essay

902 Words 4 Pages
Solar Energy

What do the bubonic plague in the 14th century, the influenza epidemic of the early 20th century and the spread of HIV/AIDS in the late 20th and early 21st centuries have in common? One answer, according to Joel B. Stronberg author of the American Solar Energy Society’s “Common Sense,” is that they have all been called pandemics. According to Merriam-Webster.com, a pandemic occurs over a wide geographic distribution and affects “an exceptionally high proportion of the population.” Joel B. Stronberg declares that we are currently facing another pandemic. This pandemic is the combination of the consequences of burning fossil fuels. The two major problems from burning fossil fuels are global warming and decreasing oil supplies.
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The potential of solar energy is tremendous. We should take advantage of this opportunity and make solar energy usage more common!

Since solar radiation produces so much energy, why aren’t we using a lot more of it? Solar energy does have some disadvantages. One of the major problems with solar energy is the intermittent speed at which it arrives at the Earth’s surface. This causes problems with consistency when heating or lighting. Another drawback to solar energy is that it requires great space to be gathered in effective quantities. This makes it difficult to place the solar panels in areas where space is costly, valuable, or unavailable. A final reason why we are not using solar energy is because it is quite costly. According to JC Solar Homes, it would cost a homeowner roughly one hundred to two hundred thousand dollars to convert his or her home to solar energy. Obviously, this is not realistic or reasonable for most people; therefore, solar energy is often overlooked as a serious possibility for solving our approaching energy pandemic.

There are different types of commonly used solar energy conversions. Photovoltaic energy is commonly called solar cell energy. PV is a non-mechanical device that converts sunlight into electricity. Solar thermal heat is being used in swimming pools, space heating and to heat water for domesticated uses. Solar thermal power plants use sunlight to heat a liquid which turns into steam. The…

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