Solar Energy? Yes!

Updated: Jun 4

When I think about life, I constantly come across the question of how fortunate I am that with a flip of a switch, I have immediate access to light that allows me to do the little things that we sometimes take for granted, like reading or cooking. When I read articles discussing solar energy, I come across snippets of the reality of just how fortunate I am. For example, I stumbled across an article that talked about how one family relied on a single kerosene lamp as their only light source. The simple tasks, like making a bed make with sufficient lighting make come easy to some, but for others, such task is difficult or seldom completed because of insufficient lighting.

Now, the main goal for this series of blog posts revolved around clean, renewable energy is two folds:

1) To educate on the benefits of renewable energy; and

2) To educate modern consumers to become more aware of their energy consumption

It will be pretty complex if I were to dive into the different forms of clean energy, so I will break it up into different segments, starting with solar energy.

Let’s start from the beginning. As defined, there are two types of energy sources:

1) Non-renewable energy includes coal, gas, and oil. (non-renewables); non-renewable sources are what most forms of transportation use (cars, trains, planes.)

2) Renewable energy is clean energy that comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished. (renewable energy)

The Issue

To start, I think it will be a good reminder to say that clean, renewable energy is nothing new, or at least harnessing its power. The utilization of nature’s energy has been long included in civilization. For example, harnessing wind for sails, windmills to grind grain, using the sun as warmth during the day, and helping kindle fires last during the evening. I think the issue is not in societies' inability to develop the necessary technology to steadily provide energy, but that there are cheaper and dirtier energy sources that provide an easy advantage but a short-term, unsustainable solution. Non-renewable energy, which includes fossil fuels, gas, and coal, are limited energy sources and target finite resources that take a significant amount of time to replenish. Sadly, it is apparent that non-renewables endanger both the environment and human health, so transitioning to renewables will only improve conditions on both environmental and socio-economic levels. While we may not entirely switch to renewable energy sources yet, we need to discuss that concerns do exist with implementation, but I think the goal is to look ahead to the future that fully embraces the concept and incorporation.

One of many…

More energy from the sun falls on the earth in one hour than is used by everyone in the world in one year. (NREL). The most attractive thing for renewable energy sources is that a common person knows or has somewhat of an idea of the source. For example, solar energy harnesses the sun’s energy and converts it into usable energy for homes, businesses, and buildings through various technologies. The keyword is SUN! Everyone knows what the sun is, so the idea of getting energy from a familiar source is somewhat of a calming idea. Using solar technologies improves efficiency and saves money by allowing energy developers and utilities to use solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment. Essentially, photovoltaic materials and devices convert sunlight into electrical energy. PVs are the typical solar panels that you find on residential homes and some buildings. The way that PVs work is that it harnesses the sun’s power as direct conversion of its light into electricity.

The Solution?

It’s important to understand that there is no “one-fits-all” type of solution when it comes down to having a complete, perfect source of energy. Discussing PV does have its advantages and at its face is a significant step forward on how we can obtain and distribute energy to different places throughout our planet. Locations that are dependent on oil and natural gas can finally diversify their energy portfolios without sacrificing the environment or human health. Renewable energy can potentially expand an economy, generate employment, and enhance energy security.

I will follow the situation on renewable energy and am excited to provide my findings to all of you. There are both advantages and disadvantages to the discussion of renewables, and I encourage you to subscribe to the blogs to be updated on all the conversations and topics!