The need for sustainable energy sources

We require energy for almost every aspect of our daily lives. The energy consumption of our planet has increased exponentially since the industrial revolution. This energy demand has been met until now, and even presently by the combustion of fossil fuels. However, there are serious flaws in this model of energy generation. The first is that fossil fuels are non-renewable, meaning that we will eventually run out of fossil fuels. The second is that burning fossil fuels is extremely damaging to the environment. It releases oxides of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, heavy metals, and radioactive elements into the atmosphere along with large amounts of heat. This pollutes the air directly, and water and soil through acid rains as well as contribute to global warming as a good number of these gases are greenhouse gases. Hence it is clear that we are facing an energy crisis, and a solution is needed. There are many contenders for the future of energy, Hydrogen as a fuel, nuclear energy, solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, geothermal energy etc. Of these, solar energy is the only method that is available in a small scale to the general public; anyone can purchase a solar energy generation system through a solar solutions provider such as Solar Power Sunshine Coast. This article will take a look at solar energy as one of the leading sustainable alternatives to our current energy generation systems and how it addresses its shortcomings.

Renewable Energy

As mentioned above, the fact that fossil fuels will eventually run out is a large concern about their use in energy generation. Solar energy on the other hand, will depend on the sun and our ability to produce photovoltaic cells and batteries, which are made of silicon, lithium, and other elements. They are abundant on Earth and the Sun itself will last several billion years which makes solar energy functionally renewable.

Environmental Impact

Burning fossil fuels releases toxic gases into the atmosphere, contributes towards the depletion of the ozone layer, global warming and is generally harmful towards the health of all life on Earth, especially when done at the scale it is now due to our global energy demand. In contrast, solar energy generation emits no waste during usage and the only environmental impact would be during the production of the batteries and cells used in the system. Although this is not necessarily a positive impact on the environment, it is insignificant compared to the damage fossil fuels cause.

Other qualities

In addition to addressing the weaknesses of power generation through fossil fuels, solar power is also flexible in that it can be used to power a residence or a city which allows it to be the only power generation system that can be used at a residential scale by the public. This allows for decentralised power generation by distributing the solar panel array among a large number of houses, allowing them to generate their own power and sell the excess to a national grid.


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