There is a great demand for energy, our lives often times depend on energy. We depend on electricity for countless things from lights, computers, banking and security systems. Where does it all come from? There are different ways energy is captured and converted for use. There are fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil and there are more renewable energy sources like wind, water, and sun. The use of fossil fuels is cheap, easy and fairly efficient. The problem is that these fuel sources are diminishing and the use of these products has the down side of producing carbon and other harmful emissions. The use of fossil fuels are depleting the ozone, causing inversions, and producing bad air quality that can cause health issues for you and your loved ones.
The human race has long been aware of the health issues and the negative impact on our planet caused by the use of non-renewable energy sources. The only real answer for many decades was to reduce the use of fossil fuels. But with technology skyrocketing us into a new energy-dependent reality, along with the massive growth of the planet's population, our energy needs are only expanding. Reducing the use of fossil fuels is not a practical option.
It's hard to ask a culture of people who are accustomed to modern technology and conveniences to give it up to save the planet. With the growing need for energy, and the reduction in fossil fuels, we may eventually require 100% renewable energy sources. We don't want to give up the comforts that modern technology has brought, so we are increasing our demand for simpler, cleaner fuel sources for our energy needs. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for renewable energy. With today's technological advancements, renewable energy sources are already widely available to everyday consumers.
Energy for the future
If we continue to burn fossil fuels, we will eventually run out. It may be some time before we see the end of fossil fuels, but there are already shortages in oil. The depletion of oil reserves have driven up the cost of oil and gasoline, and the end consumer is feeling the crunch. The answer to this economic and energy security issue is to take advantage of renewable energy sources.
Through the efforts of scientists and technological advancements, we have access to energy from wind, water, the sun, biomass and geothermal energy sources. These resources will be endlessly available unless the sun implodes or humanity ceases to exist. Future generations will likely abandon fossil fuels completely in favor of cleaner renewable energy sources. The more demand there is for renewable energy, the faster technological and scientific advances will follow. As the technology advances, so will the efficiency of these energy sources increase, and the costs will likely be driven down even more.
Is solar the future?
In the early years of solar power, the technology was bulky and expensive, not to mention hardly efficient enough to be worth the effort and cost. Thankfully, through technological advancements, solar energy is now efficient, cost-effective and readily available to the general public. The sun comes up each day and provides an endless bounty of energy; we only have to continue to harness that energy with gradual improvements to the technology behind it.
What does this mean for future generations? Now that the popularity of solar energy has increased, so will funding for research and advancement. While harnessing solar power today carries about the same cost as producing fossil fuels, solar power could be even more efficient and cost effective than it is today. The current efficiency of the standard solar energy unit is around 20-30%, depending on the type of system. Even solar energy collection units used in commercial solar productions are only around 40% efficient, at best. This doesn't sound like much, but consider the fact that older models performed at around 6% efficiency. In just a few decades, those numbers have increased dramatically, and may yet increase even more.
With this increase in efficiency, solar energy has become more useful and popular. Solar companies are seeing increased interest in their products, and and more companies are willing to invest in research and development of newer, more efficient products. The future of solar energy is looking bright.
The vitality of energy
Without energy, we would be in the dark, literally. There would be no dishwashers, movies, and even transportation. The human race has become dependent on energy for industry, quality of life, and health care needs.
The idea of being able to harness the power of the sun is even more enticing than wind farms or geothermal efforts, because solar energy can be used worldwide. Producing solar energy takes up far less real estate than wind turbines, and is less invasive and expensive than geothermal energy sources. A typical solar panel array fits nicely on the roof of most homes and takes up little additional real estate.
Wind farms, however, require acres of land and great big wind turbines. This is a great answer to the energy needs of rural areas where there is plenty of space available. But the turbines are large, and many see them as unsightly. So it's not a popular choice for private use. The energy produced by wind farms is a great renewable resource, but it's not practical for big cities or private homeowners.
Geothermal options aren't very appealing, because they require digging deep into the earth's crust. Like wind turbines, it isn't very space-friendly. Geothermal energy is also not very cost effective, as it isn't very efficient. As a mass producer on a commercial scare, geothermal energy sources make sense, but for the average homeowner, it's not a very convenient source.
Water turbines and other h2o-related renewable energy sources are also great on the grander scale. They can produce enough energy to power entire cities. However h20 sources are just not practical energy options for the average homeowner.
As times change and our climate declines, the urgency to make the transition to renewable energy becomes clearer. Even companies that produce and use fossil fuels are well aware of the changes needed in energy production. According to studies done by Exxon Mobile, the use of renewable energy will increase by 5% per year. As the need for renewable energy increases, so will funding and research. And currently, the best overall option to reduce our fossil fuel dependency is solar power. So, much of the investment in research and development will likely be in solar power.
As an energy source, solar is the most user-friendly for the average consumer. A typical solar energy system can produce power all day long, even on a cloudy day, and is suitable for use in a wide range of areas. The cost of solar energy systems are becoming increasingly affordable; plus, state and federal funding are available in the form of tax incentives for going green.
Solar energy isn't perfect; there are some issues that make solar panels ineffective. Temperature extremes including snow and ice, high humidity, and other issues can cause a system to lose efficiency. Today's market is urging developers to solve the issues facing solar power– much quicker than ever before. Before long, technology may advance to a point where solar energy can be used in any climate, with no issues. Its efficiency can only get better with each new advancement, and the competitive market driven by demand will work in consumers' favor.
The time to make the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is here. At Enlyten, we know solar energy, and we can help you make the switch. Give us a call for a free initial consultation today.