What Is The Future Of Solar Energy?

1301 Words 6 Pages
According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, ‘solar’ is a Latin word which means ‘sun,’ and energy produced from the sun can be used to heat, air condition, and illuminate people’s homes and businesses (“2015 Learning”). One of the first people to see the potential in solar power was John Herschel, a British astronomer, who used a solar thermal collector box to heat his meals in Africa, in the 1830s (U.S. Energy Info. Adm.). Over a century later, in 1954, Bell Laboratories created the first solar cell, the genesis of everything powered by the solar energy. During the 1960s, the space industry went a step further and become one of the first industries to truly adopt solar power to use with their space crafts (U.S. Dept. of Energy, “2012 Top 6”). In …show more content…
Today, the most plentiful energy on earth is solar energy, producing more than 10,000 times the energy the world needs. The Earth is constantly being hit with173,000 terawatts of solar energy (U.S. Dept. of Energy, “2012 Top 6”). With advances in solar technologies and government energy credits, a solar power circuit can be a clean and economical source of energy. There are many factors that have an effect on how efficiently a solar power circuit operates. Sunlight impacts different parts of the Earth differently. Sunlight is also affected by climate and weather conditions where cloud cover and adverse weather conditions can block the amount of sunlight hitting the earth. The style and size of a solar power circuit, including the energy collection and conversion system, also plays a major role in determining how much sunlight is converted into useful energy (U.S. Energy Info. Adm.). There are two styles of active solar power circuits in use today. One style is a solar thermal power plant, which utilizes mirrors to concentrate …show more content…
Photovoltaic cell circuits, when placed on building, are renown for having a very minor effect on the environment. The utilization of solar energy does not produce greenhouse gasses nor does it produce any water or air pollutants (U.S. Energy Info. Adm.). However, there are some negative effects that solar power can have on the environment, indirectly. During the production process of making photovoltaic cells, manufacturers use chemicals and toxic materials that can be harmful to the environment (U.S. Energy Info. Adm.). Some solar thermal power plants utilize government regulated fluids, that are potential harmful, to create steam. These power plants also require land to be cleared out to build all the necessary components, including a copious amount of mirrors, of the power plant. This has the propensity to have a long-term impact on the local wildlife and their habitats. Also, the concentrated beams of sunlight, created by the mirrors, can kill insects and birds that are flying around the solar thermal power plant (U.S. Energy Info. Adm.). In all, there is no direct impact to the environment from the solar power circuits, rather the indirect effects which can be mitigated with advancements in

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