Solar Energy as an Alternative to Fossil Fuels

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In a world built on the cheapest, easiest conveniences of energy, Most of Our modern industrial civilization society seems blind to the other solutions available. It’s no question that burning fossil fuel causes pollution, but we are entirely dependent on its use. Our civilization is to a large extent based on using fossil fuels. Still, due to overpopulation, climate change, and the scarcity of resources, one of the most precious and efficient sources of energy, oil, has already began to exhaust. should we really suck the earth dry of fossil fuel? Fossil fuel leaves a huge impact on the environment.

With the earth’s population exceeding 7 billion people, how could we afford to use Non-Renewable Energy? Like a bad addiction, I believe our civilization can break their habit of fossil fuel and be pro-active on obtaining something renewable, to care for our world. This has caused scientists globally to look for alternatives to fossil fuels to avoid economic and industrial collapse. Experts in the field of sustainable energy have turned their attention towards solar energy, as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

Solar technology utilizes the Sun’s energy to produce electricity and does not rely on the continual mining of raw materials. Consequently, this does not result in the destruction of our ecosystems, as witnessed in the extraction of fossil fuels. For instance, in the river Niger Delta, an ongoing irresponsible and excessive oil extraction can be witnessed. As a result of this activity, the mass extinction of fish has been observed in the region, as well as the abandonment of whole villages where people used to live on fishing. Another well-known incident is the BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, which spilled over a million cubic meters of crude oil. Using solar energy does not imply releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; the energy production process for it is free from any gas, smoke, or other chemical waste.

Solar energy, unlike other sources of conventional energy, is free from monthly or other charges, except the first installation and maintenance fees. Operational costs are also small. Solar energy does not require costly and ongoing raw materials, such as coal or oil, and unlike conventional power production, operational labor is needless. The prices of fossil fuels keep increasing and the production price per watt of solar energy has reduced by 60% in the past five years. Solar energy is more cost-effective and practical for self-reliant societies, or those who live in rural or isolated areas. It is practical since it is much cheaper to install solar energy systems than putting up power lines; it is cost-effective due to conventional sources of energy depending on a variety of factors, like transportation of petroleum and frequent maintenance.

Solar Energy takes the heat from the sun to make renewable energy. It’s called Concentrating Solar Power (CSP). This takes the heat from the sun onto solar panel mirrors, creating heat that spins generator with heat that can be used multiple times. The southwest United States is the most ideal place to get solar power, and one solar power plant can generate 250 MW or more, which is enough to power 90,000 homes or more. This will be an investment, Solar energy was much more expensive 30 years ago than today, but will only continue to become affordable with some investments. The sun is a readily available resource and puts off enough energy every hour to power the earth for a year. The amount of energy hitting the Earth is incredibly large, a month of sunshine has the equivalent energy of all the planet’s used and unused fossil fuels.

Those with opposite views on solar energy insist the cost of installing solar energy system is higher compared to conventional sources of. They also argue that solar panels require excessive amounts of space for installation, and this might hinder its application in limited space, such as urban areas. The reason why installation costs are relatively higher is due to solar panels being made from materials that have exorbitant costs. Although the nature of solar energy has two disadvantages. First, the sun does not shine consistently throughout the day due to clouds and weather, which can be problem for constant electricity and heat. Also, solar energy cannot be used for nighttime production. However, energy can be stored from a sunny day and used for a rainy one.

In Spain, they have used a combination of sodium and potassium nitrate that can store the suns heat for 8 hours after the sun sets. With mirrors you are able to concentrate the suns power and use it for longer periods of time. Though long periods of overcast and clouds may run into problems. The other shortcoming is that the energy from the sun is a diffuse source, being that it falls over a wide area. In order to utilize this energy, it must be concentrated into a form and amount we can use, such as heat and electricity. These problems are addressed in the three steps used to harness the sun’s energy collection, conversion, and storage.

Solar energy has the potential of becoming the most significant source of energy in the nearest future. Since there are no chemicals or gases involved in energy production on solar plants, this type of energy can be considered one of the cleanest. Solar energy is also cheap and practical. Solar plants may be constructed off the national energy grid, which is beneficial for small self-reliant societies, and they do not require monthly or other charges. Those disputing the viability of solar energy as an alternative to fossil fuel insist that installing solar panels is expensive and requires plenty of space. However, government subsidies and other measures are likely to reduce said costs, and the problem of free space is also in the process of resolving. On the whole, it is clear that fossil fuel deposits are getting lower and lower each day. Therefore, increasing numbers of people will continue to embrace solar energy as the best alternative to fossil fuels.


  1. https://ourworldindata.org/how-long-before-we-run-out-of-fossil-fuels
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/jan/31/solar-power-what-is-holding-back-growth-clean-energy
  3. https://us.sunpower.com/blog/2017/10/25/how-does-solar-energy-work/
  4. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/03/niger-delta-oil-spills-decoders/
  5. https://sciencing.com/case-against-solar-energy-19638.html
  6. https://www.thesolaradvantage.net/why-is-solar-power-so-expensive/
  7. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/053015/pros-and-cons-solar-energy.asp

Cite this paper

Solar Energy as an Alternative to Fossil Fuels. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/solar-energy-as-an-alternative-to-fossil-fuels/

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