The Power of Solar Energy

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The Power of Solar Energy In today’s world, the growth of energy demands is exploding. Many of the energy sources that supply society with power currently run on non-renewable resources such as oil and coal. These resources also pollute our environment. Other resources such as hydro and wind power are not as reliable as they fluctuate in availability due to environmental conditions. It is important to investigate alternative resources of energy as the current forms and output will not sustain the world at the current increase in societal demands. One viable and almost unlimited source of energy is the sun. Solar panels make use of the sun’s light hitting earth everyday and convert it to a usable form of energy and have the potential to fulfill the world’s energy needs. So, what is Solar Energy and where can one find it? Energy from the sun has great potential for future use as earth’s primary source for power. Solar Energy is radiant energy produced in the sun as a result of nuclear fusion. It is transmitted to the earth in portions of energy called photons, which interact with the earth's atmosphere and surface. The attractions of solar energy are many. In a monetary sense, solar energy costs nothing; it is free for the taking and will not run out for billions of years. It doesn’t pollute or otherwise damage the environment. It creates no dangerous waste products such as plutonium. The extremely positive side of solar energy makes it evident that it is a very good candidate to be earth’s future energy source. There are several ways in which solar energy can be converted to other forms of energy. Photosynthesis and Biomass play a large role in converting solar energy into other forms of energy. Solar ener... ... middle of paper ... ... York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1977. "Howstuffworks" <http://science.howstuffworks.com/solar-cell1.htm> Knight, David C. Harnessing the Sun: The Story of Solar Energy. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1976. McKinney, Michael and Schoch, Robert. Environmental Science Systems and Solutions. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, MA 2003. Microsoft Bookshelf 98. CD-ROM. Redmond Wa: Microsoft, 1998. [2] Microsoft’s Encarta 98. CD- ROM. Redmond Wa: Microsoft, 1998. [1] Quinn, Neil. Photograph credit. Scientific America. Energy for Planet Earth. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1990. “Solar Energy.” Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Third Ed. 1999. "What are solar panels" < http://www.qrg.nwu.edu/projects/vss/docs/Power/> Interesting Links Cool Solar Energy Facts: <http://www.solarbuzz.com/Consumer/FastFacts.htm>

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