There are a variety of energy sources besides the sun, but the advantages of solar power are easily made apparent when measured against other methods.
The reduced environmental impact of using solar energy in comparison to fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources has been noted and lauded. Understanding how solar energy works is important, since its benefits are unfortunately rarely compared to other green and sustainable sources. Hydroelectricity, wind turbines, geothermal energy and biomass are all environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional fuels.
Hydroelectricity, although effective, does not benefit home usage since it is generally supplied through the use of large dams. Not only are dams expensive to build, but there are also many details to take into account before building one and the impact of the the surrounding environment should be evaluated. Building a dam has the ability to alter an entire ecosystem and must be done with proper care and consideration.
Photovoltaic panels will not change the environment and are small in comparison to dams. One of the advantages of solar power is its versatility. A land or roof installation can be set up in regions that many would think don’t receive enough sunlight.
Wind turbines can be another effective way to generate energy, but the advantages of solar power prevail over this method as well. Although the initial power gathered from wind is less expensive to produce, wind turbines require much more maintenance than photovoltaic cells. They are also more disruptive than their solar counterpart, since they are prone to making lots of noise. While PV panels can be installed on rooftops, a wind turbine is better suited for open and spacious areas.
Traditionally, geothermal energy is restricted from becoming widespread by its reliance on being near tectonic plates. Advancements in technology may make geothermal energy more accessible in the future. Currently, another of the advantages of solar power is that it is effective anywhere in the United States.
The use of biomass, such as the burning of wood, waste, alcohol fumes, or landfill gases produces less waste energy than fossil fuels or coal. Unfortunately, biomass creates volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. On the positive side, its pollution is modest in comparison to traditional fuels. Photovoltaic cells prove superior again in that they create no emissions and do not require land that could be used for crops.
The aforementioned green energy sources are better than fossil fuels and beneficial to taking some of the strain off the environment. The sustainable energy gained from the sun is still superior in quite a few areas.
Solar energy can be used for large installations. It can also be created for a smaller scale and affordable enough for home use. Once installed, a home energy system requires very little upkeep, adjustment or maintenance. While dams and wind turbines have to be placed with consideration to their effects on the surrounding area, PV panels only need to be set up with the areas that receive the most sun. Unlike biofuel and wind turbines, sun power does not create pollution or noise. Research suggests that there are advantages of solar power over any of its competition.