The Advantages Of Photovoltaics Essay Research Paper
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The Advantages Of Photovoltaics Essay, Research Paper There are many different energy sources and many possible future energy sources. This report will explain the downsides of the current energy sources and explain the possibility of the implementation of photovoltaic cells (PVs) as our main energy source. The idea of solar cells is not new. Since the 1970’s, tax credits have been used to help the development and implementation of PVs. Plans were announced in 1993 by the federal government and a coalition of US utilities to install 50 megawatts of solar cells between 1994 and 2000. This, however, is not nearly enough generating power(Flavin, p. 21). Photovoltaics will remain a specialty business unless 500 megawatts of PVs are installed. If the federal government deployed the 500 megawatts on government buildings, they could cost effectively spur the PV industry. With a push from the government and the government continually popular and could possibly become common or take over the world?s energy field(Flavin, p.21). There are a couple of main sources of energy. Coal is the largest source in terms of how much is used. Another fuel source is nuclear power. A simplified version of how coal is used to make electricity is that it is burned and this boils water. The steam from the water is then used to turn turbines which produce electricity. This is fine except for the fact that when something is burned, a chemical reaction takes place and in this case, smoke is released. This smoke contains carbon dioxide(CO2). This carbon dioxide causes global warming(Gervase). Dan Lashof from the Natural Resources defense council, Global Warming Central said “Coal-fired power plants in 1995 were responsible for 1730 million tons of carbon dioxide, 10 million tons of sulfur dioxide, 7.8 million tons of nitrogen oxide, and 55 tons of mercury among other toxic pollutants. This makes coal-fired power plants not only the source of climate altering carbon dioxide, but also of acid rain and particulate pollution formed from the sulfur and nitrogen emissions. Along with automobiles, coal fired power plants are also a leading contributor to smog formation. (Lashof p.26)” In short, he is saying that the burning of coal is polluting the atmosphere, is changing the climate, and causing global warming. Global warming is becoming more accepted in society and science. Although there are tons of evidence evidence supporting global warming, some people still don’t believe that it is happening. Dan Becker, from the Global Warming Center, presents one piece of evidence: “Mr. Palmer’s claim `satellite records, weather balloons, and rural ground based temperature readings show no global warming for the last 30 years` is either misinformed or intentionally untrue. The reality is that the last 30 years have seen the warmest surface temperatures in recorded history, and they have been documented not by alarmists, but by responsible, unbiased scientists from NASA, NOAA, and countless universities and research institutions around the world(Becker, p16). Even with punishing winter weather in the US and Europe, 1996 was one of the warmest years ever recorded. The average temperature of the first seven years of the 1990’s is already higher than the entire decade of the 1980’s. 1995 was the warmest year since humans began keeping accurate measurements of temperature! Around the world scientists are documenting the rapid melting of glaciers. Snow cover is melting much earlier in the year. Ocean temperatures have warmed, sea levels have risen almost one foot, and the patterns of deep sea currents are shifting. These are indisputable facts, recorded by responsible scientists over the last several decades.(Dan Becker, p16)” All this is saying is that there is no doubt that global warming is happening. Global warming happens because the carbon dioxide traps the sun?s energy when it reaches the earth.