The Power Of The Sun

Fatima Rahman

The Power of Solar

The sun is about 4.6 billion-years-old and only about half way through it’s life cycle. So that means for approximately the next 4.6 billion years we will have what is most likely going to be the galaxies most important source of energy. The sun gives us light and heat. It helps our plants grow, and it keeps us warm.

so how does solar energy work?

Solar Energy works by the sun shining rays of light into Solar Panels. These Solar Panels are made up of silicon. Even though you can find silicon almost anywhere, it is still very expensive to make. The silicon has to be heated to extremely high temperatures and then processed into extremely thin sheets. They rely entirely on the sun, so when it is cloudy there is no energy being produced, and there is night-time of course when the sun is not out. However, besides these disadvantages there are many advantages to Solar Energy. For example, the Sun is a free source of energy that does not cost us a penny to produce. Your electricity bills are basically free, and often times the energy produced by Solar Panels is more than enough to power your house, and the energy is then fed back into the system. That means the energy companies pay you for producing energy!

The rays from the sun heat up the electrons in the solar panel making them speed up and active. These electrons flow through wires to our houses which gives us electricity.

Environmental and Economic Impacts

Environmental Impacts:

There are many environmental benefits for solar energy, compared to the other types of energy sources. However, there are some negative impacts about the environment for solar energy as well. When people are making solar panels they have left over stuff like Silicon Tetrachloride and then they have to dispose the left over produce, which can pollute. When creating solar panels the manufactures have to use energy, which pollutes air and creates heavy metal emissions and greenhouse gases. With solar panels that generate electricity (Pv, or photovoltaic cells), the cost of the materials and the cost of the construction is in the negative environmental impact.

Economic Impacts:

Solar energy has a positive impact on a lot of places/things. Solar Energy has a huge impact on the Maryland solar economy but also has a huge impact on the national economy as well. The first, and most obvious example, is the decrease in the use of foreign imported oil as an energy source. In 2010, the US imported 19.1 million barrels of foreign oil a day. This is estimated to cost more than $200,000 a minute, over $25 billion a year, that is being spent on foreign oil imports.

Large solar generating plants has a huge short term economic benefit in producing construction jobs. Once the plant is completed the employment advantage drops. A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory predicted that building a single 1,000 megawatt solar power plant in Nevada would generate over 2,000 jobs for three years as it was being built. After building, the job benefits dropped significantly for the next four years, before slowly climbing to just over 200 new jobs. The advantages of building a series of electric plants every few years were predicted to be more lasting, with a lot of construction jobs for as long as new plants are built.

For more info check out this video

Energy 101: Solar Power