Solar Energy And The Energy Crisis

699 words - 3 pages

Solar Energy and the Energy Crisis

The energy crisis is a major problem in the United States. Solar energy can help alleviate
this problem. Enough solar panels to fulfill the energy needs of the entire United States
would take up 27,347 km2 and cost almost 17 trillion dollars. Therefore, although there is
enough space for all those solar panels, the economic cost is far too great. However,
solar power can be phased in gradually.
Solar Energy 3
Solar Energy: Can It Solve the Energy Crisis?
The world's supply of fossil fuels is dwindling. The amount of power generated from
renewable energy sources needs to be increased, as there is little chance of power consumption
decreasing. Solar power is a relatively untapped power source which could contribute to solving the
energy crisis. Solar power plants can operate as long as the sun continues to give off light and heat,
and it will continue to do so for billions of years. However, solar power plants cannot be the only
power source, for they do not operate at peak efficiency at night or when the sun is obscured by dense
cloud cover.
Solar power accounted for only 0.064%
of US energy consumption in 2003, while
fossil fuels accounted for 85.973%. Also, solar
power production in the United States has been
decreasing since 1996 (see Figure 1) (Annual
Energy Review, 2003).
The most common way to convert solar radiation into electricity is the use of photovoltaic cells,
also called solar cells. These cells are grouped together in solar panels. Solar cells are made of thin
wafers of silicon (Si) with a few other elements added. The efficiency of these cells is around 12%, so
that a panel with an area of one square meter placed in direct sunlight will generate a peak power of
120 watts (solar radiation has a density of 1000 watts per square meter at the Earth's surface) (Solar
Cell, 2005).
Another way of generating electricity from solar radiation is through the use of solar thermal
energy. Power plants that generate electricity in this way use mirrors to focus the sun's energy. The
focused energy is used to boil water and create steam to drive a turbine (Solar Energy).
However, if solar power usage were to become more widespread, then the energy shortage the
Figure 1 ( data from Annual Energy Review, 2003)

United States is experiencing would be lessened. Combined with energy conservation and increased
use of other...

Find Another Essay On Solar Energy and the Energy Crisis

Solar Energy Essay

1691 words - 7 pages known as the OPEC Energy Crisis. This caused the US to reexamine the use of renewable energy sources. Fuel prices leaped and lines to get gas formed at every station. Soon both federal and state tax credits resulted in rapid growth for a new solar industry. The energy crisis did not permanently convince the American population towards solar energy, as soon as prices went down for gas, many Americans simply abandoned the idea of solar energy

Solar Energy Essay

1016 words - 4 pages harness the energy of the sun. Horace de Saussure invented the “solar hot box,” the first devise to attract and capture the energy capabilities of the sun. The main uses of this primitive solar box consisted of cooking food, distilling water and pumping water for irrigation. It was not until the 1880’s that America caught on to this new source of energy. Introduced by John Ericcson, this engineer created solar power engines, used for power

Solar Energy

1023 words - 5 pages of heat. This fission is electrical energy, which can be stored in special containers built casing the system. This continues until uranium can no longer separate its atoms and the rods need to be replaced. Solar Energy is an alternative electrical energy source. Its a renewable source, because of its abundant supply and limited environmental impact. Solar energy has the ability to power buildings, electronic devices, and spacecrafts through a

Solar Energy

1205 words - 5 pages , and now, electricity. Solar power also plays a role in 4 of the 5 areas of green technology: energy, green building, environmentally preferred purchasing, and green chemistry. All in all, solar power is quite a unique form of energy. The most simplest type of solar energy is passive energy. It is when solar energy is used directly in the forms of heat or light. This energy can be collected as easily as changing way a structure is oriented

Solar Energy

1860 words - 7 pages , solar energy could provide a solution to this. Attaching batteries to a solar panel system can also help supply energy when going off the grid. During the aftermath of Sandy, a multi-panel, battery-tied system helped fuel a relief center's operations. Additionally, solar companies donated equipment to function as emergency power systems which helped during the crisis and can be used again in the future. Executives of these charitable

Solar Energy - 731 words

731 words - 3 pages Have you ever glanced up at the sun and wondered what it is capable of doing? The sun is a very powerful resource, and is capable of doing a variety of things. One of the sun’s many capabilities is producing energy. This energy is called solar energy, which is the energy I have chosen to research. As you will read later on, solar energy can be very useful. Some of the first people to discover solar energy were the Greek and Romans. They built

solar energy

574 words - 2 pages Solar Energy All life on Earth depends on energy from the sun. Solar energy is the source of energy for photosynthesis. It provides the warmth necessary for plants and animals to survive. Scientists have found a way to use God’s natural light towards the advantage of our daily lives. The affects of this idea revolutionary, results of solar power could lead to a more modernized society and efficient economy. Solar energy is a term

Solar Energy

1511 words - 6 pages Solar energy can be used in different ways during the construction of houses in order to conserve energy. Solar energy comes as a gift of nature and this makes it even more economical to use in our buildings. It is not only free but unlike other sources of energy; it also limits the amount of pollution caused to the environment. When building our houses the goal according to David Johnston and Scott Gibson is to create a house that consumes at

Solar Energy - 1517 words

1517 words - 6 pages solar energy is by heating water that can be insulated. The water is heated by passing it through hollow panels. Black-coated steal plates are used because dark colors absorb heat more efficiently. However, this method only supplies enough energy for activities such as washing and bathing. The solar panels generate low grade heat, that is, they generate low temperatures for the amount of heat needed in a day. In order to generate high grade heat

Solar Energy - 1601 words

1601 words - 6 pages Solar Energy Why do we build passive solar homes? Most people familiar with the subject of alternative and renewable energies would reply with a variation of many answers to this question. “To act locally in an ever expanding global market.” “The solar panels or photovoltaics will pay for themselves in a given amount of time depending on the system implemented.” “I would build a passive solar house to take myself entirely off the grid

Religion and the Energy Crisis

2786 words - 11 pages Religion and the Energy Crisis When faced with the daunting specter of world energy issues and environmental crisis, it is natural to focus on finding solutions to our problems of sustainability and pollution. Before jumping into a frenzied search for solutions, however, it is necessary to take a hard look at precisely why we care to solve this problem in the first place. This is a much broader question, rooted in culture, philosophy

Similar Essays

Nanotechnologies And Solar Energy Essay

669 words - 3 pages gets more efficient the tinier it gets. The converting rate of solar energy is equally price competitive as fossil fuel, with a dollar per watt of solar energy. With the help of nanotechnology, it could help raise solar energy conversion efficiency and help lower costs making it the ultimate method of raw energy conversion. To make sure the process of generating energy is kept at a low cost and energy output is maximized, the process of energy

The Solar Energy Conflict Essay

885 words - 4 pages aren't using the full capacity of the solar panels, and the main benefit of this is that you will never lack power being the you are pulling from the grid (Adams).Solar energy is a cost effective solution to our energy crisis, but it requires individuals to purchase and use them. They are cost effective with decreased energy bills, have no by products, and are entirely renewable. Automobiles were not as efficient as they are today, and the same

The Solar Power Energy Essay

744 words - 3 pages A Photovoltaic cell also known as PV cell is a special kind semiconductor device that converts the solar energy into electrical energy. During the process, the photons from the sunlight are captured by the semi-conductor material. The captured electrons are then used to produce energy in the form of electricity. The first practical solar cell was created by Bell Laboratories in 1954, it only produced 1 watt of energy and the cost to produce 1

Solar Energy Essay 2288 Words

2288 words - 9 pages for alternate energy sources came in the 1970’s when there was an energy crisis. But according to history, the first look at alternate energy sources came when a scare of running out of fossil fuel came about. Many different things were looked at, but solar power somehow was the one that was looked at the most seriously. Once solar power was focused on, years later, there were ways that were invented to obtain the radiation from the sun and