Renewable energy is generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat. On October 5, 2010 the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) approved the first sizeable solar energy plants to be built in California which will be divided into two developments totaling 6,800 acres of public land. This project is estimated to last 30 years while generating almost 1,000 new jobs. The solar energy technology that will be used in California’s Imperial County is called the sterling energy systems SunCatcher technology. It will require 28,360 solar dishes and will produce approximately 709 megawatts which will provide electricity to 212,700 to 531,750 homes. The second project is called the Chevron Lucerne Valley Solar Project and will use solar photovoltaic technology in San Bernardino County using 40,500 solar panels, producing 45 megawatts, and powering 13,500 to 33,750 homes. Another project planned for the San Bernardino County will use parabolic mirrors and create 250 megawatts of power. There are several solar power projects still awaiting DOI approval, such as a 1000 megawatt blythe solar power project consisting of a parabolic trough facility. This is slated to be the world’s biggest solar power plant. Companies who work on renewable energy projects receive credits from The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. ( EERE Network News)
More countries are putting the transformation of solar power into electricity high on their “political agenda” (Solar Energy). In America, less than one percent of electrical use is powered from solar energy. European countries however, are eager to use solar power and promote that by making utility companies purchase expensive solar power at a fixed cost. The leading solar power state in the U.S. is California. China’s solar panel manufacturers are the largest in the world. Since China has been so dependable on oil, they want to transform their electricity use from solar panels. The government currently charges a fee to everyone who uses electricity. The profits then go to the electric companies for the difference in price from switching to renewable energy. (Solar Energy)
Converting from fossil fuels to renewable energy is extremely expensive. Power companies in the U.S. have to decide to change their equipment to renewable energy or continue powering on fossil fuels. In China, companies have to buy the equipment anyways so it is not as hard of a decision. Renewable energy is expensive. It costs companies twice as much to use solar power than it does to use coal even with prices starting to drop from mass production. (Solar Energy)
One of the ways to use solar power is called concentrating solar power. This is when people use mirrors that reflect and focus the sun’s rays to give heat that powers a generator. Another is what is seen on the roof of homes and offices buildings, which is called photovoltaic panels. These panels have been encountering theft problems especially...