A Brief Look At Fossil Fuels and Solar Energy Use

solar energy

Photo by Bradley Hook from Pexels

Has it ever crossed your mind how powerful and magnificent our planet is? If you look closely and see how much Earth has to offer, it’s easy to see how each of its aspects is skillfully designed to co-benefit everything else. In fact, that’s just the start of its wonders. A lot is still yet to be understood and discovered. 

Experts say that we, humans, are considered to be the highest form of animals. It’s quite subjective to assume that we are. But, if we’re to base it on intelligence, there’s no doubt that we truly are that. Imagine, humans built civilisations and were able to create and innovate things that made life more complex. 

Those discoveries led to the modern life that we have now. In this day and age, one thing that is vital to almost the entire world’s lives is electricity. We rely a lot on technology that it’s nearly impossible to survive without one. Hence, making it hard to survive without energy.

We’ve been utilising the wrong energy source 

If you’ve been wondering where the energy we utilise comes from, it is fossil fuels. According to research, fossil fuels have been around millions of years ago. They are formed from dead organisms’ remains. Even though they’ve been around for that long, humans have only been utilising them for around 200 years. 

Fossil fuels aren’t bad. What makes them harmful is that once they’re burned, they release air pollutants that are being trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. These pollutants are responsible for the greenhouse gases effect. If you’ve been trying to recall what greenhouse gases are, here it is. They’re gases that help keep the planet warm. 

But, you know, when they say too much is dangerous? That’s the case with greenhouse gases. As we continuously burn fossil fuels, greenhouse gases increase, which then triggers global warming. 

Why do we still use fossil fuels instead of renewable energy?

The reason why we’re still using fossil fuels instead of renewable energy is that it is cheaper. Also, most of the world’s economies and cities are designed and built to utilise fossil-fueled energy. To shift to renewable energy such as solar for solar panel use means to change a city’s current infrastructure design.

To cut it short, we need to redesign our cities to make use of better energy sources. Redesigning also means more costs for the government and private sectors. Isn’t it a hard and complicated process? It truly is. 

Solar energy 

Though renewable energy demands a lot of change and planning to be utilised, they are slowly being integrated into some businesses. One of them is solar energy. To utilise solar energy, you need solar panels. 

Solar panels are photovoltaic cells that collect the sun’s energy. This energy is then being converted into alternating current through the use of an inverter, making it compatible with electricity use. You might be wondering, ‘Then why don’t we all just use solar energy instead?’ 

One thing to know about solar panels is that they are costly. Solar panels are mostly custom-made and are made to last for as long as 35 years, maximum. But, solar panel installation is no easy task. Aside from its cost, a lot of factors are needed to ensure that your solar panels will do their job accordingly. This includes your surroundings, home condition, plans, and energy usage. 

Solar energy is slowly making moves as its demand continues to increase

News has it that solar panels’ demand has increased over the last couple of years. Its market price has already decreased compared to how much it used to. Even though it decreased, solar panels are still not yet widely available to everyone. Thankfully, a lot of businesses and high-end residential areas are starting to shift to solar power.

Aside from the fact that solar panels cost an average of $15,000 (price depends on the size of your property and how many panels you’ll need), a lot of factors should be met before any installation.

Solar panels and urban areas

One of the main reasons why a lot of cities around the world are having a hard time integrating solar energy is their infrastructure design, just like I mentioned earlier. One important requirement of solar panels is their surroundings. If your property were to use one, the property next to yours shouldn’t be blocking your solar panels. 

This is one of the biggest problems in dense cities. Since high-rise properties are built next to each other, it’s nearly impossible to apply the use of solar panels to cities. The primary purpose of the panels is to collect sunlight. If a high-rise building blocks a property with panels, expect that no energy can be utilised at all.  

How can we then utilise and promote solar energy use?

It’s quite hard to come up with a solid plan as to how we can promote solar energy use. Aside from its price point that can only be afforded by big businesses and upper-class people, it needs a thorough plan and structure for implementation. 

Thankfully, huge corporations such as Apple are using one. Their main office in California is 100% powered by solar energy. If ever you own or work for a huge, influential brand like Apple, this is a great step to take. Once more brands and businesses start to shift, other corporations would also start to do so. 

If you own a property that is qualified for solar panel use, and if you can afford to do so, why don’t you consider shifting to a better energy source? One government sector that can do this is transportation. 

In China, some of its cities have been using 100% electric vehicles for public transportation. At night, the vehicles are recharged at their solar charging area for about 2 hours. If other cities can study and compare China’s framework to theirs, it will be easy to formulate ways on how solar energy can be utilised. 

Solar can be the future if designed and planned meticulously 

Experts say that solar energy is the future. Right now, the path to that future may seem rigged. But, if the government and private sectors come together to allocate their funds in the right places and formulate ideas religiously, this future can be our tomorrow. 

If ever you happen to be able to shift to a better energy source, use your privilege to learn its benefits and to do so. Make your home a better place and help the planet regain its health for the better. 

About the author:

Bianca Banda is a writer for Penrith Solar Centre, an Australian solar company that advocates better energy resources to improve the quality of life on Earth.