Task2 - Environment >> Solar Power Advantages

"Solar Power Advantages"

The world is moving towards renewable and sustainable energy sources at an ever increasing pace. Governments and individuals are weighing up the pros and cons of various alternative sources of energy. Solar is certainly one of the best options as this source of power has significant advantages that are difficult to ignore.

For some people, the best way to measure the value of solar is by comparing the cost with traditional power sources. It is true that solar power saves you money. In fact, putting solar panels on your rooftop is likely to save you thousands of dollars. In comparison to conventional electriticity sources the average American who installed solar in 2011 will save US$20,000 over a twenty year period of utilization. The numbers are even better for those Americans living in Hawaii where savings over twenty years are estimated to be approximately US$65,000.

Another substantial benefit is derived through employment. The fossil fuel industry, particularly coal miners, are quick to claim that their activities are providing employment in rural areas that are in need of jobs. In reality, US$1,000,000 invested in the coal industry creates a total of 7 jobs while US$1,000,000 invested in solar power generates 16 full time positions. Money invested in solar power creates two to three times more jobs than money invested in coal or natural gas.

There is more upside when we consider that solar power provides energy independence. This is because the sun cannot be controlled or monopolized. If you have solar panels on your roof, you have an independent source of energy that completely belongs to you. There is no centralized power company sending you a bill for sunshine. This is important for individuals, cities, states and even companies. A real world example would be the Ukraine where solar power has replaced US$3,000,000,000 worth of oil and gas imports coming from Russia.

Admittedly, there is one disadvantage, the sun does not shine 24 hours a day. Fortunately, technology has provided a solution with Lithium Ion batteries that can store the sun's power for future usage.

In sum, those with a longer term view can enjoy the cheaper electricity and also provide jobs in a cleaner and greener society. Solar power, with battery storage, could theoretically supply the world with all of its electricity needs as nothing on earth compares to the energy potential of sunshine.

Comment from ITP TBA