Matthew L. Stanfield
English IV HN
8 September 2008
Today the world is in a shortage of energy. With the depletion of fossil fuels, society seems to be in panic mode. With this in mind, researchers and scientists are beginning to look for new methods of producing energy. When anyone starts to talk about alternate energy sources, solar energy is always mentioned. Solar energy is an awesome outlet to reduce fossil fuel consumption. The wide-spread use of solar energy could possibly be the world’s savior when it comes to the ever present energy crisis(Marsh 10-13).
The Sun is the star at the center of our solar system. The Sun’s radiation has been used since as early as 400 B.C to create energy. Ancient civilizations used glass and mirrors to focus the Sun’s rays to create high-powered energy beams. Also, ancient civilizations built their homes to catch the most amount of sunlight to generate heat during the Winter season(Knight 14). In the early 1600s, French engineer Salomon de Caus created a water pump that operated on solar power. In the late 1860s, another French engineer, Auguste Mouchot, built a solar powered steam engine. Today, with advances in technology and science, solar energy is becoming more and more useful and practical(Knight 15). As solar energy becomes more useful, its cost will steadily decrease, allowing consumers to more easily use solar energy. Since 1990, solar energy production and usage has increased by 75 percent world wide(Nikel-Zueger and Shaw 56). With a broader institution of solar energy comes a great reduction in fossil fuel consumption. It is projected that by 2015, 25 percent of America’s energy will provided by the Sun(Tye 1).
Solar energy is created by means of capturing the Sun’s rays. Sunlight capturing technology has advanced from using glass and mirrors to using present-day photovoltaic cells(Knight 14). Photovoltaic cells are panels of silicon strips that capture sunlight and send the...