What Are the Advantages in Using Solar Energy Resources?
In the wake of global warming concerns, alternative energy solutions are receiving renewed attention. While solar energy resources are not used on a wide scale, its advocates tout innovative uses associated with solar energy advantages. The solar energy industry continues to undergo development, spanning the globe as well as reaching into the depths of outer space.
By harnessing the power of alternative energy solutions, such as solar power resources, citizens of the world can act to restrict the scope of global warming. As observed in the solar energy guide released by the U.S. government designed to accompany a preliminary draft of its Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, “Solar power plants reduce the environmental impacts of combustion used in fossil fuel power generation such as green house gas and other air pollution emissions. (See Reference 1).” Although the use of solar resources presents a number of concerns, these concerns are comparatively negligible when compared to those which accompany the use of traditional types of energy resources, such as fossil fuels or nuclear energy.
One of the most alluring advantages of using solar energy is the fact that costs associated with maintaining solar energy systems are controllable costs. Certain types of solar water heaters are even recognized by the U.S. government as qualified Energy Star products that entitle their owners to receive Federal Tax Credits. Over the past 15 years, prices across the solar energy industry have declined an average of four percent per year, according to Solarbuzz, an international solar energy market research and consulting company (See Reference 2).
Unlike coal, solar energy is an abundant resource. Despite the fact that electromagnetic radiation from the sun is at times dispersed by cloud cover before reaching the Earth’s surface, humans are able to gather this radiation with the aid of solar thermal collectors and distribute it to maximize the productivity associated with its use. Thus, solar energy is bound to be available for as long as the sun itself shines.
Solar energy can be accessed both in urban centers as well as in remote areas, and it can even be used to supply power to space probes. Outside of a traditional power grid, solar energy resources are even used by Ericsson, a large company based in the United States, to support communication resources “to countries including Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Reunion and Senegal,” according to Ariel Schwartz, reporting on behalf of Fast Company (See Reference 3).