The Enduring Significance of Solar Energy

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Now in a lot of cities or countries, we often see solar panels on top of a building or a field. But why do people do that? People now start realizing the importance of global warming and start to find solutions to slow down or stop it. The use of solar energy is one solution to mitigating global warming, and therein lies its enduring significance.

To slow down global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, countries such as Germany, Japan, China, the United States, and India have started using more and more solar energy in their countries. In Europe, there are also other countries like the UK and Italy which are also starting to use more and more solar energy in their country. Germany did very well to start using solar energy instead of other types of energy that are not good for global warming. In 2014, Germany produced a total of 38.2GW (gigawatts) out of 177GW produced globally. In Germany, 27% of its total electricity is used for solar energy. Which is one of the leading countries in the world. In 2015, China was the largest producer and buyer of solar panels. In the past few years, many solar power plants have appeared in different areas of China, and these solar power plants sell energy to the utility. Japan is also one of the leading countries of solar energy produced in the world. In 2014, Japan produced 23.3 GW of solar energy. The reason that Japan can produce a lot of solar energy is because they have lots of golf courses that no one uses. They covered the course with lots of photovoltaic products, so they can get lots of solar energy.

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Traditional electricity is sourced from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, but it produces harmful byproducts and gas emissions such as sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxide that cause pollution to the environment. We shouldn’t use fossil fuels to produce energy because it’s not only bad for the environment, but they’re also a limited resource. So, if we keep using it as a resource for producing energy, very soon there won’t be any fossil fuels anymore. As the cleanest and most widespread renewable energy source, solar energy is our key.

Over 49GW of total solar capacity was installed and it can generate enough electricity to power 9.5 million homes. There are now 1.6 million solar installations in the US. After reaching 1 million in 2016, experts estimate 2 million should be hit in 2018 and 4 million by 2022. Solar power added worldwide increased 50% last year because of a sun rush in China and the US. China’s large lands and large solar farms help increase a lot. Globally there is now 305GW of solar power capacity, up from around 50GW in 2010. Now China alone is responsible for over 40% of global renewable capacity growth. So, if other countries start using more and more solar energy, it can slow down or maybe stop global warming.

For example, India started to pay attention to solar energy. They build the largest solar power plant in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu. The facility has a capacity of 648 MW and covers an area of 10 sq km. By 2022, India aims to power 60 million homes by the sun. It is part of the government’s goal to produce 40 percent of its power from non-fossil fuels by 2030.

If more and more countries start to have goals like the Indian government has, it won’t be very hard to lower the total pollution that all countries produce. If there’s less pollution, it’s possible to slow down global warming and make the environment better. Therefore, given its value, the world should use solar energy more actively.

Bibliography

  1. About Solar Energy| SEIA. (2018). SEIA. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from https://www.seia.org/initiatives/about-solar-energy;
  2. All About Solar Energy: Advantages and Challenges| Green, Organic, Useful Resources and Info. (2018). Gouri.info. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from http://www.gouri.info/alternative-energy/all-about-solar-energy;
  3. Germany Has Some Revolutionary Ideas, and They’re Working. (2015). Nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2015/11/germany-renewable-energy-revolution/;
  4. India Unveils the World’s Largest Solar Power Plant. (2016). Aljazeera.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/india-unveils-world-largest-solar-power-plant-161129101022044.html;
  5. Masson, V., Bonhomme, M., Salagnac, J., Briottet, X., & Lemonsu, A. (2014). Solar Panels Reduce Both Global Warming and Urban Heat Island. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 2. doi:10.3389/fenvs.2014.00014;
  6. Matasci, S. (2017). 2018 Health & Environmental Benefits of Solar| EnergySage. EnergySage Solar News Feed. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from https://news.energysage.com/health-environmental-benefits-of-solar-energy/;
  7. Shahan, Z., & Shahan, Z. (2013). Advantages & Disadvantages of Solar Power| CleanTechnica. CleanTechnica. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from https://cleantechnica.com/2013/10/08/advantages-disadvantages-solar-power/;
  8. Solar Power Has Benefits as a Source of Alternative Energy. (2009). Nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/solar-power/;
  9. Uncover the Benefits of Solar Energy. (2018). Solarcity.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from http://www.solarcity.com/residential/benefits-of-solar-energy;
  10. Us, A., & Maehlum, M. (2013). Top 10 Benefits of Going Solar - Energy Informative. Energy Informative. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from http://energyinformative.org/benefits-of-solar-panels/.
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The Enduring Significance of Solar Energy. (2024, March 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-enduring-significance-of-solar-energy/
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