Energy is a sore topic of discussion. “My electric bill was astronomical!” and “I can’t believe the price of gas went up again!” are frequent complaints. Luckily, we can do something to ease the tension in the air—make better use of alternate energy sources. It’s a trendy topic, but we should learn even more. And it’s trendy for a reason—oil, coal and similar resources are finite items and will run out someday. One emerging solution is solar power, which comes with several benefits. To make things easier, let’s put these perks into 5 major groups of benefits.

  1. Safety

    Aside from the finite nature of current energy sources, one of the top reasons we seek new energy concerns environmental safety. Solar energy carries with it several safety benefits and advantages for continued preservation of our world.

    • No CO2. What did Al Gore tell us in the early 2000s? Global warming is coming. The plus side: solar may combat this. Unlike fossil fuels, which emit CO2 into the atmosphere, solar energy does not release greenhouse gases. Solar energy comes from conducting the sun’s radiation, a natural process. It is therefore “clean” and “green” energy.
    • Happy plants and animals. Solar energy won’t destroy the workings of the ecosystem, plant life or the homes of countless creatures, as it does not necessitate that we dig into the Earth to mine raw materials. Disasters of the caliber of the 2010 BP oil spill would be avoided.
  2. Availability

    Of course the world would benefit from the ability to readily access solar energy. Currently, we rely so heavily on other countries for oil that wars are being fought over it and the price of getting it here and using it keeps climbing. Solar energy, however, is accessible just about anywhere.

    • Exceeds our need. The sun produces 10,000+ times the amount of energy we use each year.
    • Reliable and replenishing. Solar energy is renewable because the sun provides us with light energy most days.
    • Availability means affordability. Unless the apocalypse falls upon us, the sun is an unlimited energy source, so the price of using it will not vary as drastically as oil.
  3. Cost

    The major concern that average consumers focus on in terms of energy is how it’s going to affect their wallets. Right now, we absorb the costs of sourcing materials, transporting them and using them, and this is hitting us hard. However, because no huge manipulations are needed to utilize solar energy and solar energy itself is free, we can reap its benefits.

    • No transportation. Oil, coal and gas require massive trucks and tankers to move across the country or across the world. That costs a great deal of money and causes pollution in the air. Solar doesn’t require any of this.
    • Low maintenance. Unlike oil and coal, which requires expenditures in drilling, refining and transporting, solar energy requires little TLC. Smaller staffs of professionals monitor and manipulate solar energy, as the sun itself and semiconductors in power plants do the work.
    • Going off the grid. Power prices are unbelievably high in rural spaces and electrical connections are often unreliable. Going off the grid, which is to say relying entirely on solar and having absolutely no connection to traditional electricity, is a money-saver for farming communities.
  4. Employment

    Every new, major industry has the potential to create jobs for the people in our society. The solar industry is no different, and it’s already made an impact in the world. Though staffs are sometimes smaller, specialized workers are required to execute necessary processes.

    • European invasion. Solar energy production has already created 100,000 jobs in Europe.
    • Technical training. Educational institutions are well-aware of the emerging need for professionals who are knowledgeable about solar energy. That’s why vocational training in Florida, like Tulsa Welding School’s Electro-Mechanical Technologies program (with solar training included), and other areas are preparing a new generation of workers.
    • U.S. expansion. With our country already training young professionals and the increased adoption of solar use, more jobs may be created in the U.S. Positions in manufacturing, installing, research and design and much more will begin to pop up, giving our economy a much-needed boost.
  5. Ease of Use

    While it’s true that traditional energy does not require much effort on the part of the consumer, sourcing it, manipulating it and making it readily available for use can be complicated. Solar energy reduces much of the hassle.

    • Minimal disruption. Oil drilling is a loud, noisy process. Solar cells, on the other hand, are completely quiet. Users don’t hear a thing while solar panels soak up the sun’s energy.
    • Easy installation. Setting up a solar energy system is uncomplicated, as panels do not need cords or wires to operate.
    • Little support. Solar cells and panels are relatively basic apparatuses, as they do not have the aforementioned wires, and also do not incorporate the use of moving parts. Therefore, solar energy systems require minimal maintenance.

As we’ve seen here, the benefits of solar energy are numerous and help to improve our world in different areas. Solar power is a safe alternative to traditional energy, readily available, cost-effective, provides training and job opportunities and is easy to set up and operate. What more could we ask for?

Sources:
http://greenlivingideas.com/2007/07/08/what-are-the-benefits-of-solar-power/
http://alternate-power.org/solar-power-advantages-and-disadvantages/
http://exploringgreentechnology.com/solar-energy/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-solar-energy/