At the dawn of the 21st century, many people are talking about solar energy as the power of the future. Yet it sometimes seem to be taken for granted that everyone understands not only what solar power is, but why it would be better than traditional sources of energy. Some solar energy advantages are small, while others have the potential to affect the whole planet. Understanding some solar energy advantages can help homeowners, investors, scientists and inventors decide if it is a market and investment worth their time.
Much of the energy used to power the modern world is based on fossil fuel sources. These fuels are created by the slow breakdown of organisms over millions of years, creating methane, petroleum, coal, oil, and other sources. Unfortunately, although there were once vast resources of fossil fuels, the tremendous human need for fuel combined with the millions of years needed to create new fossil sources has lead to an overwhelming depletion of fossil fuels. Some experts predict that known resources of fossil fuels may begin running out within 50 years, leading to a serious and growing need for alternative energy sources.
Solar energy is one of the possible sources of alternative fuel and power. Since the power is absorbed from the sun without depleting the star's capacity at all, it is considered a renewable source of energy. This already gives solar energy an advantage over traditional fuels; as long as the sun shines, there is an endless source of energy.
Some solar energy advantages work on a global scale. Solar energy puts out little or no pollution, does not create carbon dioxide or require burning and refining, as do many other energy sources. By interpolating solar energy into human consumption, pollution levels and greenhouse gas emissions are expected to drop considerably. This can not only improve air, soil, and water quality, but also help stem the tide of global warming.
Another of the most important solar energy advantages is that increasing the use of solar power will most likely create new jobs. As houses and businesses are retrofitted or built to produce solar energy, construction and contracting jobs may increase. In order to begin implementing solar energy as a major source of power, researchers, scientists and inventors are needed to create new and better methods of production, retention, and use.
Yet solar energy advantages are not limited to large scale concept; many households can benefit from solar energy advantages as well. One of the most important is that utility bills can drop significantly if solar energy is implemented. As more homes are built or fitted with solar paneling, new residents do not even have to swallow the cost of installation. Saving hundreds of dollars a month in utilities is considered by many to be one of the most useful solar power advantages.
Not all rewards are monetary or even tangible; using and promoting solar energy is an important lesson for the next generation. By showing children that their parents and adult friends are passionate about restoring the planet and saving precious resources, people can implant the same desire in future generations. Teaching the young to care about the planet by example can ensure that conscientious caretaking will continue long after a single generation's lifespan.