The Pros And Disadvantages Of Solar Power

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Climate change is one of the largest threats to life on earth. The largest contributor to the problem of climate change is human pollution. A large portion of this pollution is caused by the process of power production. The reason that the production of electricity is such a large contributor to climate change is due to the usage of coal. According to the US Energy Information Administration, a non-biased governmental agency that reports statistical information on US power production for expert study, roughly 33% of the electricity produced in America is produced by coal (“Electric Power Monthly”). This rate is around the same as it is globally, The Shift Project Data Portal, a site reporting data on the climate and energy to experts for use …show more content…
National Geographic also provides the reasons that some prefer other sources. They state one of the major concerns of opponents to solar power, the lack of power production at night or in cloudy weather (“Solar Energy”). This distinct disadvantage poses a major challenge to solar power, especially due to the lack of efficient power storage. As time continues on and technology advances, the viability of storing this power overnight and through cloudy weather will increase, but currently it is a major downfall of solar power. Additionally, the cost of solar power on a grand scale is believed to be too high by many, having a levelized cost of 125.3 $/MWh (“Annual Energy Outlook 2015”). Compared with the low costs of coal and nuclear, many state that solar is not a viable competitor, adding too much to the electricity bill of the average person. The high costs of both solar and nuclear power as well as the potential for dramatic improvement in both technologies has pushed many to advocate a different …show more content…
First amongst the cons is the production of greenhouse gasses. Natural gas is the only alternative to coal that produces a fairly significant amount of greenhouse gasses, meaning that climate change can still be affected by natural gas. This is especially important as many environmental advocates hope that the successor to coal power will be one of many completely green alternatives. Additionally, natural gas is highly toxic to the environment in its base form of unrefined methane. This was most prominently shown in the gas leak that happened in Porter Ranch, California from October 23 2015 through February 18 2016, leaking 92 thousand tons of natural gas into the atmosphere ("Porter Ranch SoCalGas Well Blowout Lawsuits."). The effects of the raw gas are much more harmful than that of the greenhouse gasses coal produces, the 92,000 tons of methane that leaked at Porter Ranch is the equivalent of nearly 8,000,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide ("Porter Ranch SoCalGas Well Blowout Lawsuits."). According to PorterRanchLawsuit.com, a website run by the attorneys suing the company responsible for the leak which reports factual news as well as biased information to sway opinion, thousands of residents are facing illnesses from the gas. Additionally, residents were evacuated from their homes due to the presence of gas ("Porter Ranch SoCalGas Well Blowout Lawsuits."). The total gas from this leak was the

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