Many people believe that solar energy is the answer to the world’s energy problems. Every day, enough sunlight hits the Earth to be able to power the entire world for a year. However, many do not see the problems that are associated with solar energy. The public does understand that the solar panels are costly, and that at night they are useless, but most scientist believe those are problems that can be overcome. The problem which most scientist have with solar energy is its inefficiency.
In a ten by ten square foot piece of land, only about 300 Watts hit the ground. This value is greater in the tropics were the sun is closer to the surface of the Earth and there is little cloud cover and smaller in the higher latitude were the clouds are plentiful. So the energy obtained through solar panels is quite small. To keep a house heated and cooled, for example, it would take a solar panel as big as 10% of the total floor area of the house to do that. So if you had a 2000 sq. ft. house you would need a 200 sq. ft. panel to heat and cool it. This is not even including the other appliances in the house, or lighting, television, and so forth. So depending on how much energy you use, you could require a solar panel bigger than your roof to power your home. Many scientists don’t see this as very ethical and suggest other means of getting energy.
The size of the solar panels also creates an environmental problem. If solar panels were going to be used on an industrial scale, huge amounts of land would have to be taken up. Depending on where they were to be built, they could destroy trees, farmland, homes for animals, and so forth.
Now due to the fact that the development of huge solar energy plants could damage the environment, this causes a social problem. Animal rights groups and other organizations are constantly fighting to stop humans from destroying there homes for construction of such things. If a plant were to go up in Stillwater, the only places big enough to...