Essay On Solar Energy To Renewable Energy

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The Importance of Transitioning to Renewable Energies
If estimates are correct, available fossil fuel reserves will be expended in the early 22nd century; these fossil fuels are accountable for around 90% of the world's power supply. Without power the modern world would effectively shut down and tear itself apart overnight. There is only one truly long-term solution to avoid this inevitable situation - infinitely renewable energy. Renewable energies include such power sources as wind, hydroelectric, and the most promising option of solar energy. The topic of implementing solar energy as the country's primary energy contributor has been one of much controversy; however, making this transition could promise a world of incredibly cheap power for an eternity. The following information will detail major discussion points in solar power that have significant impact on not just the industry but the way that ordinary Americans live their lives. The material has been organized into the following headings: current and projected capabilities, environmental impacts, cost, and solar roadways.
Current and Projected Capabilities
The total world energy demand is roughly 400 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTU). One BTU is measured by the energy and heat generated by a match. Currently, renewable energies only make up about seven percent of the world's energy demand (McLamb, 2011). Despite those low numbers, solar power is quickly becoming mainstream. In 2012, the world acquired the capacity to produce more than 100 gigawatts (GWs) of electricity from sunlight. This surpassed growth predictions for solar photovoltaic capacity made only 10 years ago. The total installed capacity is expected to reach nearly 330 GW by the year 2020 (Frishberg, ...

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Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI). (2011, December). Shining light on a bright opportunity: developing solar energy on abandoned mine lands. Retrieved from the Environmental Protection Agency website: http://www.epa.gov
World Nuclear Association. (2011, July). Comparison of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of various electricity generations sources. Retrieved from http://www.world-nuclear.org/uploadedFiles/org/WNA/Publications/Working_Group_Reports/comparison_of_lifecycle.pdf
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