5 Reasons to Harness Solar Energy
Article by Beverly Saltonstall
The simple definition of solar energy is that energy which is generated from the sun. The sun that shines down on our planet is an abundant source of energy that gives us both light and heat. The sun is an awesome heavenly body and as such has been a source of awe and has been held in high reverence in both ancient cultures and modern day cultures. The sun was even worshiped as a God by the ancient Egyptians.
This respect for the sun was and still is, well deserved. Until more sophisticated technologies are developed, our sun can give many future generations an unlimited and abundant source of energy. The use of solar energy has many merits over the fossil fuels we are now using as an energy source.
Solar Power is Free
Every morning at dawn, without fail, the sun rises and releases solar energy that has been filtered through our atmosphere, and provides us with free light and heat that enables our planet to be livable.
This phenomenon has been occurring for millions and millions of years, but it has only been recently that we have some to realize the full potential of this free, abundant source of nearly infinite power.
Historians have records of early Egyptians and Greek cultures using the sun’s power by concentrating the rays of the sun generate heat. In the past the Greeks and the Egyptians have been known to harness the power of the sun to heat whatever they wished to by concentrating its radiation.
Solar Power is Non-polluting
The sun is a clean source of energy and is free of pollutants of any kind. This is unlike fossil fuels or organic fuels which leave harmful gasses and residues when they are used to create energy.
Solar Power is Extremely Reliable
Estimates are that the sun has been burning for nearly five billion years and chances are that it will still be burning for the next five billion years. Every morning it shows up and every evening it vanishes to light up another portion of the globe. This waxing and waning of the sun will certainly outlast many generations to come.
The old saying “as sure as day” comes from the fact that depending on which part of the globe you live on and the sun is shining, the sun’s energy is available to harness and be used immediately, or stored away for future use.
Solar Power is Limitless
The wonderful thing about solar energy is that there is no restriction on the amount of energy we can use from this source. The amount of energy given off by the sun in a few minutes is enough to power the entire United States for an entire year. Developing technologies that would economically harness the sun’s power could solve the entire planet’s energy problems.
Why Use Solar Power
With all this abundant free source of energy all around us, why hasn’t it been used, and why is so much of it just wasted? One of the primary reasons for this is that the sunlight we actually receive is quite thinly spread across the earth. In order for solar energy to be used, it needs to be gathered, manipulated and ultimately stored in order for enough of it to be effectively harnessed.
Technology has not advanced enough to make this possible on a large scale. To date, only three methods of collecting solar energy have been developed and they have only been partially successful.
The Reflection Method