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Is Solar Energy Really Renewable and Sustainable? You may have heard that solar energy is both renewable and sustainable. But is this really true? In order to answer this question, we must first understand what is renewable and what is sustainable. Renewable sources of energy Solar panels account for less than 1% of the U.S. electricity production

are non-nuclear and are able to constantly replenish

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themselves. This means they never run out. This is good, yet falls short of the ideal.

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There are many sources of energy that are both renewable but environmentally

money on your electricity bills.

damaging. Take wood as an example. They are renewable as trees can always grow again, albeit rather slowly. However burning wood cause pollution and also depletes the forest of its trees. Even though this source of energy is renewable, it will not serve us for long unless it is also sustainable. This means the supply of energy must meet our present needs and also have the ability to meet the energy needs of future

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There are many sources of energy that are both renewable and sustainable.

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Some examples of these are solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, geothermal

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energy and biomass energy. Let’s look at solar energy. Solar energy comes from the sun. It is a natural source of light and heat that is

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also constant. The wonderful thing about the sun is its longevity. For the next 4 to 5 billion years, the sun will keep shining to provide energy for mankind. When the life of the sun comes to an end, every living creature on Earth will die anyway. A few billion years is an extraordinarily long time. Thus solar energy is indeed sustainable as much as it is renewable. Theoretically, solar energy alone can fulfill the world’s energy demands. Unfortunately the economics behind harvesting solar energy does not make sense for many situations. It is still cheaper to use fossil fuel. In fact, more than half of the United State’s electricity is generated by coal. Almost 20% of the electricity we use is generated by nuclear power. Solar generated

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electricity accounts for far less than 1% of the total production. This should be quite indicative of the investment needed to install solar panels on a large scale. Yet if we can somehow get enough capital to setup solar panels massively, it can be is cheaper to run our world on solar power. At least, when solar panels are in such high demand, economy of scale helps to lower photovoltaic (PV) panel costs. Many competitors may also enter this market so market forces can also drive prices down. Solar energy is one of the most convenient sources of energy (compared to other renewable energy) since we get exposure to sunlight everywhere. Not every location has strong perennial winds or has water running down from higher elevations. Thus even though these energy may be renewable and sustainable, they are not as practical as solar energy.

Terms related to this article: what is really solar power?

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An electrical engineering graduate who royally at his first DIY solar panelPM Generated byfailed www.PDFonFly.com at 6/3/2011 7:01:28 URL: http://www.diysolarpanelsworld.com/is-solar-energy-really-renewable-and-sustainable project. Feeling astonished at his own


disability to complete such a simple project, he went ahead to get a simple instruction manual and followed it to the tee... Success! This first project ushered him into the world of DIY solar panels.

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Is Solar Energy Really Renewable and Sustainable?