Opinion

Opinion: What does Solar Energy have to offer?

Story by Tom Doetsch

Solar energy is clean, renewable and especially abundant in places closest to the equator where sunlight is the most present. The advantage to using solar energy is that works anywhere the sun shines.

With the American public wanting to become independent from fossil fuels, they have turned to renewable energy sources, and solar energy is one of the leading choices in today’s world.

Frank Witsil from the Detroit Free Press says “Some systems can generate enough solar power to cover 100% of a home’s needs.”

The possibility of having sustainable energy that is constantly renewable is almost too good to be true. Humanity has within its grasp the ability to create a new fuel source that will not even have the possibility of polluting the earth and its atmosphere. If this can work for homes, it can be applied to all kinds of transportation, factories, essentially anything that needs to be fueled. Solar energy not only helps the environment, but helps keep money in the pockets of everyone that uses them. In an article that Brian Potts wrote for The Wall Street Journal he admits, “But the truth is that rooftop solar shouldn’t be saving them money (though it often does).”

If solar energy is this renewable and has the possibility to save people money then why is the general public still in love with their fossil fuels? Solar power doesn’t need to be extracted from the earth which takes away the need for hydraulic fracturing, which has been known to disrupt and destroy ecosystems. In addition there are no emissions to solar power vehicles since they are electric, and the fear of growing greenhouse gas emissions would steadily decrease.

The Editorial Board of The New York Times wrote an article entitled “The High Cost of Dirty Fuels” and in it they point out “The fund [International Monetary Fund] calculates that by raising taxes on fossil fuels, basically eliminating the subsidies, nations would reduce premature deaths caused by air pollution by 55 percent.”

One of the biggest arguments against solar energy is that not everyone gets a lot of sunlight. The more northern countries get very little sunlight which would make it hard for them to use solar energy. Everywhere that solar energy can be used to its fullest extent it has the potential to make a big positive impact. Just like every other fuel source solar power has its benefits and drawbacks.

The real question is when will the human race realize that they can no longer use fossil fuels and what will they change to? George Bernard Shaw an Irish playwright once said “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

About the Writer…tom

Tom Doetsch is going into my Sophomore year with an English Major and a minor in Sociology. A couple of his favorite hobbies are biking and table tennis. He is a writer for The Saint and his favorite section to write for is news.

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