Solar: Our Best Energy Solution
By Anthony Greer
If the government fails to limit greenhouse gasses by 2030, profound global warming will be impossible to prevent. The countdown and gravity of such an event make choosing an alternative energy source to fossil fuels increasingly more important.
Solar energy is a pollution-free, natural alternative, and it also now our best alternative.
According to authors Jeff Beatty and Susan Samuelson, the co-authors of Business Law and the Legal Environment, profound global warming will be impossible to prevent in 15 years if we don’t find a way to limit greenhouse gases caused by the excess carbon dioxide from burning coal.
In an article titled Climate Change in the Arctic presented by the World Wildlife Fund, the sea level will rise one meter by 2100 due to melting ice. In the last hundred years, air temperature has increased by 5 degrees Celsius, and our world’s oceans have become 30% more acidic since the post-industrial age. The longer we continue to use fossil fuels, the worse our situation will get — and unlike solar energy, they won’t last forever.
As long as we have the sun, we won’t run out of solar energy — and we’re already using it to better our quality of life in a variety of ways. The sun helps food grow, allows for photosynthesis to occur, it plays a crucial part of our water cycle, and it’s also the world’s cheapest dryer. An article in Alternative Energy News titled Why Solar is the Best Energy Solution reveals that the sun is currently giving us 35,000 times more energy than we produce and consume. This energy can be harnessed for other practical purposes, such as heating homes, energizing light bulbs, automobiles and even airplanes. Also, solar energy produces no pollution, has no adverse environmental effects, and is ecologically acceptable. Because of this, it is the renewable energy source with the most long-term advantages and mass potential.
Along with Solar Energy, there are several other ways we can use energy that has been discovered and are also being used, but, despite their benefits, Solar Energy still prevails on a global scale as the best alternative solution. Aside from Solar, the main contributors as far as the creation of new electrical facilities are concerned are wind and natural gas without carbon control and storage.
Other alternative energies, such as geothermal, hydro-electric, advanced nuclear, and biomass are only expected to see a few more plants erected for their purposes in the future. It is highly unlikely that we’ll see any new coal plants will in the US. Photovoltaic solar cell prices will be cheaper than conventional coal by 2017, and it’s already much less expensive than the unconventional coal that requires carbon control and storage.
Of the main contributors, Wind Power is the most cost-effective, but only places that have an average wind power of around 20 miles per hour per day can take advantage of this as a solution, and that excludes most of the world.
Natural gas with carbon control and storage would be cheaper than solar for the immediate future but would lose out in lifetime use, and there are currently no known carbon control and storage facilities for natural gas in the US. Instead, Peaker Natural gas is what’s primarily used and has a lifetime cost of 18 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to solar, which is at 12.5 cents per kilowatt hour and decreasing still.
Solar is going to be one of the three main contributors of energy in the future, is everywhere the sun touches, unlike wind, and is considerably cheaper than the natural gas alternative.
In addition, two factors are working in Solar’s favor: According to the same article in Solar Cell Central, the price of silicon photovoltaic watts has decreased from $76 in 1977 to 30 cents in 2015. An increasingly competitive market and a need for a renewable energy source continue to drive this price down.
Second, there are investment tax credits, state tax credits, cash rebates, solar renewable energy certificates, and performance-based incentives that help subsidize the cost of purchasing solar energy panels.
There are also additional incentives, such as tax exemptions, subsidized loans, and accelerated depreciation that could further offset costs. See for yourself if your home or business will receive a long-term benefit from switching to Solar Energy with this Solar Energy cost estimation calculator at www.energysage.com
The most Earth-friendly, most long-term affordable, and easily accessible source of energy today is the one that we’ve been using all along. We’ve been using it long before the industrial revolution and species have been using it long before we were ever a part of this planet. By switching to Solar Energy, you will not only be choosing a pollution-free, natural alternative, but you will be helping the fight against global warming while also saving money in the long run. There is no other alternative energy resource that as widely accessible that can make that promise. Switching to Solar Energy can enhance the quality of life of all of us, so let’s use the sun’s power and save our planet.