Fossil Fuel versus Solar Power: Where the Line Meets the Circle Essay

Fossil Fuel versus Solar Power: Where the Line Meets the Circle Essay

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Fossil Fuel versus Solar Power: Where the Line Meets the Circle

There are a number of benefits to building a house that utilizes direct solar energy as compared to current conventional designs, which are largely powered and heated by energy from fossil fuels. According to a number of estimates, it is actually cheaper in the long term to incorporate solar energy into building design. Solar energy is far cleaner than fossil fuel derived energy, and therefore is far less impacting on the health of humans and the environment. There are a number of innovative technologies that have been developed for nearly every application of solar energy, thus making its use comparably convenient to fossil fuel use, but with greater assurance of long-term dependability.

While it is currently still cheaper to build a home around the theme of fossil fuel power, the cheap supply of this finite resource is rapidly diminishing. The years that are left in which fossil fuels will be accessible to the general public are numbered for certain. One of the factors contributing to the widespread misconception that this is not so is the overestimation of fossil fuel reserves due to varying regulations regarding proved oil reserves among different countries (Campbell & Laherrere, 1998). Problems of this nature have occurred with the former Soviet Union (Campbell & Laherrere, 1998). Another factor is deliberate misrepresentation, which is highly probable in the case of OPEC estimates from 1998, in which three hundred billion barrels of oil were added to OPEC reserve estimates without any accompanying reserve discoveries (Campbell & Laherrere, 1998).

While fossil fuels are a form of stored solar energy and thus finite, direct solar energy can be consid...


... middle of paper ...


...th’s natural energy flows. This could be described as an interdependent system rather than a dependent system as is the case with fossil fuels.

References Cited

Campbell, C.J. & Laherrere, J.H. (1998). The End of Cheap Oil: global production of
conventional oil will begin to decline sooner than most people think, probably within ten years. Scientific American.

Gould, S.J. (2000). The Golden Rule: a proper scale for our environmental crisis.
Chapter nine from The Earth Around Us: maintaining a livable planet. New York, Freeman.

Web references:

Glass on Web. (2003). http://www.glassonweb.com/articles/article/221/

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2000).
http://www.eere.energy.gov/erec/factsheets/solrwatr.html

Solarenergy.com. (1997 - 2001). http://www.solarenergy.com/

Sun Ovens International, Inc. (2003). http://www.sunoven.com/usa.asp

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