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Solar – The Energy of the Future

Solar energy is one option that's not only great for the planet, but also benefits your monthly budget. With today's world becoming more environmentally conscious, Americans are spending more time than ever before in finding ways to reduce wastefulness and consumption.

Everyone is concerned with our impact on the planet, and how we can reduce the damage that is being done through the use of fossil fuels like oil and coal. One option is to increase the amount of solar energy we use, and decrease our dependence on other resources. Converting more of our homes and businesses to take advantage of the sun's energy would have a number of benefits for people, as well as for the planet.

First, there's the fact that the sun produces an unlimited supply of energy. Because the sun increases each day, that energy is easily renewable, unlike fossil fuels such as oil. Oil is a limited resource, because the formation of oil is something that takes place over thousands of years. The same is true of coal, and to some degree, natural gas as well. While new sources of all three of these fuels are fairly easy to locate, they also will eventually run out.

Another advantage to using energy from the sun is that it does not generate pollution. When oil is burned, it releases a number of chemicals, including carbon dioxide, into the environment. When too much carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere, it traps the sun's heat, causing the entire planet to warm up slightly. So, by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide generated, we can slow down, if not completely undo, the effects of global warming. Furthermore, the machinery needed to drill for oil or dig for coal not only uses up petroleum-based fuels, it also releases smoke, ozone, and other contaminants into the atmosphere. This is unhealthy for humans and animals, as well as damage to the environment. Also, the sounds caused by the working machines are considered by many people to be a form of noise pollution.

Using solar energy would be an affordable way to generate electricity, purify water, and heat and cool our homes. The cells themselves require very little in the way of maintenance, and are reasonably easy to install. Although the initial purchase of the panel or lights needed to trap the sun's energy would be expensive, advances in technology have made converting to solar a feasible option for more of the population.

Finally, using the sun's energy is more flexible, and possibly even profitable, than the traditional power sources we are currently dependent upon. If you have a number of items that need energy, there are a range of panels and cells to fit almost any need. You might have larger panels on the roof to provide electricity for the home, and smaller cells for things like garden lights, pathway lighting, and decorative accessories. With solar energy, if you do not generate enough electricity to run all of your devices, you can always fall back on electricity, but when you have a surplus, you have the opportunity to sell the extra energy. With electricity, you pay for what you use, but if you use less, there is no opportunity for you to make a profit.

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