HISTORY Since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century the United States has released harmful greenhouse gases and toxic fuel emissions into the air. Department of Energy created in Carter Administration with a national energy program. National Conservation Policy Act in 1978 set standards and offered financing for conservation in buildings.
WHAT IS IT? Solar power allows us to harnesses the energy from the sun and use it to power and heat homes.
Three types of solar energy: photovoltaic (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), thermal power Most of the sun’s energy is gathered during the day Solar energy is most ideal for heating homes and water. Solar energy is clean and renewable
EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT The burning of fossil fuels from power plants pollutes the air we breathe. Contributes to the growing global warming problem Over half of the fossil fuels are imported in America An avg. American carbon dioxide footprint is around 36,000 pounds per year
BENEFITS Sun provides us with enough energy on the earth’s surface to supply us with about 1000 Watts/sq meter. Solar panels easy to install on top of rooftops of homes and buildings, allowing them to function independently. Solar energy can be stored and used on cloudy days. By 2020, if the growth of the PV industry increases, over 150,000 jobs will be created in renewable energy.
COSTS Solar power is being produced during the day when electricity costs are the highest. Start out with a solar power water heater at $2,000 to $3,000 and your overall electric bill will drop by 18% to 30% Government and local tax breaks, subsidies and refunds offer you up to 50% of your initial cost back.
WORKS CITED "Energy." Wests Encyclopedia of American Law. Ed. Shirelle Phelps and Jeffrey Lehman. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 143-144. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. "Growth in Renewable Energy." MCT Photos. McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, 2010. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 30 Apr. 2012.
Hamer, Glenn. "Solar Power Can Help Fuel the Future." Energy Alternatives. Ed. Barbara Passero. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Solar Power 2002." World & I 17 (June 2002). Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 30 Apr. 2012.