Solar Energy

Solar Panels Vs Traditional Energy Sources: Which Is Better For The Environment?

Solar Panels Vs Traditional Energy Sources: Which Is Better For The Environment?

Whether it is deciding on the energy options for your home or business, you will have to decide between traditional energy sources and solar energy with the choice you make. This study aims to draw a framework about the characteristics, environmental effects and costs of these energy sources.

Fossil Fuels and Greenhouse Effect

Fossil fuels have the largest share with 60% in energy production in the world. When energy is obtained as a result of combustion from fossil fuels, gases in the form of flue gas, especially CO2, are dispersed into the atmosphere. When the amount of CO2, which plays an important role in the formation of the greenhouse effect, increases, the temperature of the earth increases and the climate balances deteriorate. If fossil fuel consumption continues to increase, it is predicted that the temperature of our world will increase by 5 degrees in the next 50 years, and there will be more rain and flood disasters as there will be more evaporation from the seas, lakes and rivers in this way. In particular, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon gases released into the air by the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal and oil combine with raindrops and accelerate acid rain. These rains damage living things, railways, buildings, bridges and historical remains.

Renewable Energy and Decreasing Carbon Footprint

In addition to all these negativities, the importance of renewable energy sources is increasing due to the rapid depletion of world fossil fuel reserves. Renewable energy sources meet 14% of the total energy demand in the world and are called alternative energy sources, including areas such as solar energy. These energy sources, which are used to produce energy again and again, also have the feature of being sustainable due to their continuity. The source of solar energy is the sun’s rays, which will never run out. In contrast, traditional energy is derived from limited fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, which will eventually run out. At the same time, renewable energy sources are easily accessible as they can be found in every country in the world. In addition, solar energy has an extremely low carbon footprint and does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions. While there are certain emissions associated with the manufacture, transportation and installation of solar panels that convert heat and light from the sun into usable electrical energy and keep all the devices used, these emissions are almost zero compared to conventional energy sources.

Relevant Costs

Unlike traditional energy, which is influenced by supply and demand, geopolitical events, weather conditions and market price fluctuations, solar energy costs are decreasing day by day. Solar energy, with its economical price, is becoming more and more attractive as a type of energy that can be accessed by everyone. However, traditional energy will still remain in our lives until a full transition to renewable energy sources is possible. As such, priorities, value system and energy needs will bring people closer to either the traditional or the renewable one.

References

1. Panwar, N. L. Kaushik, S. C. and Kothari S. (2011). Renewable and sustainable energy reviews. 15, 1513-1524.

2. Shah, A. Larsen, B. (1992). Carbon taxes, the greenhouse effect, and developing countries. Office of the Vice President, Development Economics, World Bank.

3. Rice, W. B. (2015). The story of fossil fuels. Teacher Created Materials.

4. Washburne, S. (2018). Alternative energy sources the end of fossil fuels? Greenhaven Publishing LLC.

5. Johannes, K. F. (2017). Fuel cells, solar panels, and storage devices materials and methods. Wiley.

6. Ionsolar. “Solar energy vs. traditional energy”. Access date: 30 May 2023. Url address: https://www.ionsolar.com/ion-solar-blog/solar-energy-vs-traditional-energy

7. Eponline. “Solar panels and their effect on the environment”. Access date: 30 May 2023. Url address: https://eponline.com/articles/2022/12/09/solar-panels-and-their-effect.aspx

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