Solar energy is the least polluting and most inexaustable of all known energy sources. Even the other "renewables" have some significant drawbacks. Today we are just beginning to tap its potential. While solar energy has been available to mankind since prehistoric times, we have not been able to use it as effectively as other sources. Creating a system which provides a reliable energy supply from solar energy can be a very technical and difficult task. However, not all solar energy systems are difficult to create or use.
Several, very practical solar energy systems are in use today. The two most common are passive solar heated homes (or small buildings), and small stand-alone photovoltaic (solar electric) systems. These two applications of solar energy have proven themselves popular over a decade of use. They also illustrate the two basic methods of harnessing solar energy: solar thermal systems, and solar electric systems. The solar thermal systems convert the radiant energy of the sun into heat, and then use that heat energy as desired. The solar electric systems convert the radiant energy of the sun directly into electrical energy, which can then be used as most electrical energy is used today.
Advantage and Disadvantages(Questions):
a) Is the energy source renewable?
Solar energy is everlasting and will never run out, at least not in a couple billion years.
b) Does the energy resource produce much power, enough for a home, village, city from one power plant?
If solar energy is implemented in the right ways, it can be used to power the whole world. The sun provides enough power to provide the whole world with energy.
c) Is the energy resource available all the time?
This resource is only available during the day when the sun is out. Although, if orbital solar panles were used, 24 hours of power could be implemented.
d) Does the energy resource need to be transported to the power plant?
The energy resource does not need to be transported to the power plant. The power plant collects the resource right there.
e)Does the power from the plant have to be transported over long distances?
Sometimes it does, but usually the solar panels are right on the location where the user is.
f)Is the energy resource polluting (in transportation, power production or with waste products)?
Solar energy is probably the cleanest form of energy that you can find. It doesn't pollute in any way whatsoever.
g)Is the energy resource plentiful?(in how many parts of the world?)
The energy resource can be found anywhere in the world, anywhere. As long as you can see the sun, you can use this form of energy.
h)How expensive is it to produce the power?
The solar panels may cost some money to produce, but the savings that it can give you on power bills, etc. pays itself back very quickly.
i)Is the technology for the energy resource easy to use?
Anyone can use it. Many homeowners already use solar energy as a form of heating system in homes.
j)Can this energy resource provide power for automobiles?
Yes, there are new technology where cars use solar panels to power itself.
k)How much technology is currently available for this energy resource?
Solar technology has not been perfected, but it is seen to be one of the most useful energy resource there is.
From 1 to 5
a)Renewable or Non Renewable 5
b)Enough power for a city, for a village or for a home? 5
c)Available all the time, part of time or seldom? 3
d)Resources shipped long, or short? 5
e)Plant can be close to users or far away. 5
f)Non-Polluting or Polluting? 5
g)Plentiful or scarce? 4
h)Expensive or cheap? 4
i)Easy to use or hard to use? 5
j)Could power automobiles. 4
k)Currently available and widespread or scarce. 4