Is Solar Energy Important for the Future of Humanity?

Subject: Environment
Pages: 4
Words: 1167
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College

Introduction

The Climate crisis has been a serious challenge for the modern world. Global warming caused by an increase in CO2 emissions is a threat to all of the planet. The temperature is rising, which causes the melting of glaciers and leads to natural disasters. In addition, soil, water, and air pollution harms plants, animals, and humans. The usage of alternative sources of energy can change this situation for the better. Solar energy has advantages both for the environment and for economics and can become an alternative to traditional fossil and oil fuels.

In only 3 hours we’ll deliver a custom Is Solar Energy Important for the Future of Humanity? essay written 100% from scratch Learn more

Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Advantages

Like any source of energy, the solar one has its advantages and disadvantages. Its positive effects can be divided into two interconnected groups. The first group includes profit for people, and the second one concerns the environment. The first argument from the economic point of view is that solar energy reduces monthly payment bills. It is even possible to gain credit for the energy surplus produced by such systems, which increases their profitability.

McDermott (2021) states that the federal tax credit for renewable sources of energy is 26% up to 2023. Starting from 2023, the tax will drop to 10%, which means that the owners of the solar system will be able to claim 10% of the system cost through taxes. Thus, the government supports renewable sources of energy, and it is more efficient to acquire them now because the federal tax credit is higher. It can be a great stimulus for people who want to reduce their utility bills. In addition, photovoltaic panels do not demand any special maintenance, so they can serve over several decades without changes and technical support.

The usage of alternative sources of energy is profitable not only for individuals but for the whole community. Solar energy can become a boost for the development of regions that previously did not have access to electricity. For example, Chang (2021) describes the installation of solar mini-grid-connected systems in a Rwanda rural community. Despite the number of challenges, the solar panels were installed quite successfully. At the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (2021) that took place in Glasgow, multiple advantages of solar energy were discussed. The summit aimed to unite people in their strive for the development of green technologies. Thus, solar power can be a solution for governments who find it difficult to provide electrification for the whole population. It can also be a way to improve the climate of the planet as well.

Another advantage of solar power is the diversity of its applications. First of all, it can be used in water heating units. In addition, it can be applied for the purposes of building heating. It can be done in several ways; for example, solar radiation can be collected by an element of the building itself or by separate solar collectors. In addition, photovoltaic elements can be used for water distillation and water pumping. Water pumping is beneficial for irrigation purposes, which reduces transpiration losses from the crops (Solar Department of Energy, n.d.).

Moreover, solar power can be applied for the drying of animal and agricultural products. Solar drying allows for increasing the quality of fruit, as it increases the concentration of sugar, making it less vulnerable to insect attacks. Solar furnaces, greenhouses, and even solar filaments embedded into shirts are variants of the original usage of this technology. The main advantage of solar systems for humanity is their environmental friendliness. Photovoltaic panels do not reduce the number of fossil and oil fuels. Besides, they do not emit greenhouse gases and are pollution-free.

Disadvantages

The most obvious disadvantage of solar power systems is connected to geographic specifics of particular locations. Due to the form of Earth, sun rays do not fall equally on different areas. Another shortcoming of the technology is that at nighttime solar panels do not produce electricity, so a battery bank is needed to provide a constant power supply. Thus, some latitudes are more efficient for the usage of solar energy (Delice & Yaslioglu, 2021).

Academic experts
available
We will write a custom Environment essay specifically for you for only $16.00 $11/page Learn more

In some northern countries and cities, solar panels cannot be as useful as they could be on the equator. However, even on cloudy days, they can produce a certain amount of power. Bogdanowicz (2021) reports on newly invented solar panels that can be used relatively efficiently under any conditions. Thus, solar power is still a developing field, and in the future, it can become more efficient.

In rural communities, a number of challenges can occur during the installation and maintenance of solar systems. As Chang (2021) notes, for Rwanda’s rural community, a lack of technical expertise of local workers became a problem during the construction of mini-grids. Besides, the local community was not much involved in the process and did not provide significant support. Besides, the author reports that the economic feasibility of the grids for such communities is under question. External stakeholders are not involved in the collaboration, and tariffs are too high for the rural population. However, despite the number of challenges, solar systems can still provide rural communities with electricity quite effectively. The expertise of workers should be increased, and the people should be informed about the profits of solar systems.

Another disadvantage of solar energy is the lack of storage capability. Many solar installations do not have battery storage that would allow them to use energy all the time. For this reason, nowadays, it would be difficult to make a full replacement of fossil fuels with solar panels. However, it is definitely a promising energy source, so society should take steps toward its wide application. For example, people have gotten used to the fact that a car trip should be planned considering the location of gas stations. It is not quite comfortable, but the whole world uses this technology. In the same manner, people could adapt to the peculiarities of solar energy usage. In addition, other alternative energy sources, such as wind-driven generators and tidal power plants, could help humanity to make this shift.

Conclusion

Solar energy has a number of advantages that make it a clean and cost-effective technology. It is easy to maintain and use and is very effective in areas with a high level of solar radiation. It is pollution-free and does not emit greenhouse gases, which makes it different from traditional energy sources. A number of different applications allow using of it for multiple purposes, starting from irrigation and ending with cooking.

The technology has a number of disadvantages which are related to weather conditions and to the lack of technical expertise of workers in rural areas. Nevertheless, it is still a developing field, and photovoltaic elements are constantly improved, which makes them applicable in different weather. In addition, spreading the information about solar power can increase the awareness of people about this kind of technology and make them more involved in environmental issues. In conclusion, solar energy is a promising solution that can definitely be a competitive alternative to traditional fossil and oil fuels.

References

Bogdanowicz, K. A. (2021). Bi-triggering energy harvesters: Is it possible to generate energy in a solar panel under any conditions? Energies, 14(18), 5796. Web.

Chang, K.-C., Hagumimana, N., Zheng, J., Asemota, G. N. O., Niyonteze, J. D. D., Nsengiyumva, W., Nduwamungu, A., & Bimenyimana, S. (2021). Standalone and minigrid-connected solar energy systems for rural application in rwanda: An in situ study. International Journal of Photoenergy, 1–22. Web.

15% OFF Get your very first custom-written academic paper with 15% off Get discount

Delice, H., & Yaslioglu, E. (2021). The effect of building orientation on utilization of solar energy in dairy cattle barns. Journal of Tekirdag Agricultural Faculty, 18(3), 419–427. Web.

McDermott, T. (2021). How does the federal solar tax credit work? Empower solar. Web.

Solar Department of Energy (n.d.). Energy. Web.

UN Climate change conference UK 2021 (2021). Uniting the world to tackle the climate change. Web.