Solar energy is an excellent form of alternative power, one that can and should be utilized in some form in all regions of the world. It is a true green fuel source and one that will provide clean and free energy for years once the initial cost of switching to solar has been paid.
One of the greatest benefits of solar power is that the process of harnessing and utilizing the sun’s rays emits no harmful pollutants or emissions at all. In fact, the only emissions involved are in the making of the solar fuel cells and the transport of the finished product. And that is minimal, a necessary by-product of creating and moving new manufactured pieces. Compared to wind energy, which requires oil to help run the turbine, solar energy is completely green.
It is also more reliable, as energy can be gathered even during inclement weather. Though much more energy is captured when the sky is cloudless and the sun is shining, a small amount is gathered nonetheless. And with proper planning the higher percentage of energy captured during the summer months can be stored and used throughout the year, allowing people to stay self-reliant. Therefore, relieving the need to depend on oil and gas-based energy. It is ideal for people who live in rural areas that might have difficulty getting connected to the grid, and also for urban and suburban homes that want to reduce their carbon footprint. Many energy companies even have programs for buying back a percentage of the energy produced, so going green with solar can make you some green as well.
Of course, it does need to be pointed out that there are regions of the world where solar power can be more productive, and some regions that would get little to no use for several months on end. In addition, solar energy can only be gathered during the hours when the sun is up, so the efficiency in winter is limited in the Northern hemisphere and the summer in the Southern hemisphere. The haze in polluted areas makes it hard for the sun’s rays to break through, and also can muck up the fuel cell system. Unfortunately, this means that some areas that would greatly benefit from reducing their use of coal and switching to solar energy such as the extremely polluted Beijing, would have trouble using it as their main energy source.
The cost of the materials (photovoltaic cells, silicon, frame, converters, etc.) used are also exorbitantly expensive, so the initial outlay to get and install them takes it out of the realm of possibilities for some of the areas of the world that could most use a cheap and clean source of energy. Places like Africa, Central America, and India that have abundant sun also have an impoverished population and governments unlikely to subsidize the high cost. Though the cost is likely to go down as more companies switch to manufacturing solar arrays and others to installing them, the process of switching to solar energy throughout the world will not be immediate.
Source: ArticlesBase.com wrote by John Parks