There is a broad argument related to the pros and cons of renewable and non-renewable sources of energy.
Solar energy is a renewable source of energy that will not get exhausted over time. On the other hand, fossil fuels, including coal, petroleum, and natural gas, are non-renewable sources of energy that take millions of years to replenish themselves.
So, which is better solar energy or fossil fuels?
Solar energy is reliable and readily available, while fossil fuels are much more efficient than solar energy. Here in this article, we draw a comparison between solar energy and fossil fuels. This will provide you with a better understanding of the two energy resources.
Let us dive into the article to see which energy resource is a viable option for the future.
Solar Energy vs. Fossil Fuels
Solar energy is a renewable source of energy. It draws energy from the sun to power homes, cars, street lights, and others. In simple terms, the energy resource is readily available because the sun rises every day.
Moreover, solar power energy will not exhaust with its extensive use. As long as the sun continues shining bright, we will be able to use solar panels to convert sunlight into a form of energy.
On the other hand, fossil fuels are non-renewable sources of energy. The earth’s fossil fuel store is limited. Hence, once we exhaust fossil fuels, there is no way of getting them back. It will take millions of years for it to replenish itself.
Moreover, we don’t know what lies in the future. We could face a tough situation where the only places left on earth to mine fossil fuels are inaccessible or costly. Hence, we can conclude that fossil fuels are not as viable as solar energy.
Sunlight can be accessed at any point of the day as long as the sun exists. Unlike fossil fuels, it will not disappear for millions of years.
Harmful Carbon Emissions
Burning fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide as a byproduct. The carbon dioxide is trapped in the atmosphere, retaining heat. The heat retention causes severe climatic changes, which results in global warming. This is posing as a serious threat to humanity all across the globe.
However, solar energy does not produce carbon dioxide or any other harmful gas that may pollute the atmosphere. It has minimal effect on the environment. Moreover, solar energy does not lead to climatic changes or global warming.
If you wish to save the planet, then it is better to switch to solar power energy. We have to do our part to protect the earth, our home. Moreover, reducing emissions will also reduce the carbon footprint.
The initial cost of setting up a solar panel is high. It may not be feasible for certain homeowners to install a solar panel at home. However, there are a few solar power companies that may help you by offering free installation. You can also get a solar loan or a solar power purchase agreement that enables you to pay in monthly installments.
Solar energy has a long way to go before it becomes the most popular source of renewable energy. However, the desire to decrease the carbon footprint will enhance its popularity and demand over the years.
Technological innovations and improvements have also led to a significant decrease in price. Research has shown the cost of solar energy has decreased by 73% over the last ten years. There has been a decrease every year for the past ten years.
Thus, solar energy will evolve to be the most affordable source of energy in the future. On the other hand, the depletion of fossil fuels and the lack of availability and accessibility are making their mining expensive.
Fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas offer greater efficiency when compared with solar energy. However, fossil fuel wastes a ton of energy during its conversion. For instance, a car engine converts 20% of gasoline into energy while the remaining 80% is wasted as heat energy.
Moreover, the wasted energy is a threat to the environment. It depletes the ozone layer, causing climatic changes and global warming.
If we talk about solar energy, then we can say that it is not as efficient as fossil fuels. But it is a safer and reliable energy resource that does not waste its energy. Even if 80% of solar energy is unused, it is capable of enhancing the brightness of the place.
Also, solar panels are much more efficient today than it was in the past. The innovation of photovoltaic technology allows solar panels to collect solar energy from the sun even during dark and cloudy days. The efficiency will be only a little lower than in normal weather conditions. Hence, you will pay less for electricity than fossil fuels, even in bad weather.
Thus, the progress of technology will improve the efficiency of solar panels in the future. This will also reduce costs, enhancing the demand for solar energy.
Installing solar panels at home is an investment worth making. The solar energy will provide electricity and make your home environment-friendly. Moreover, it will compensate for the costs of electricity bills. You will save money and add value to your property.
Solar-powered homes are high on demand for its environmental and financial saving benefits. You can invest in solar panels to enhance the worth of your house. Hence, it enables you to make a profit by selling your property at a higher value.
Also, the excess solar energy that you extract can be sold to other states. Fossil fuels will increase your spending. Hence, it is not a viable option in the long-run.
Both fossil fuel and solar energy are versatile and offer a wide range of applications. Fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas are used in our daily lives as fuel, gasoline for cars, heating oil, etc. On the other hand, natural gas is used to generate electricity.
Moreover, fossil fuels are cheap and most commonly used. They are found in 96% of the products we use daily. However, the non-renewable sources of energy will soon be exhausted. This will further increase their cost.
It is better to shift to solar energy because it is available for the long term. Also, solar energy is used for a variety of applications. It is capable of heating or cooling buildings or water.
Moreover, solar energy has also evolved in the transportation sector. Solar-powered trains and other kinds of transportation, including buses, cars, and planes, are gaining immense popularity.
You can also purchase various solar devices such as flashlights and solar gadgets, including speakers and radios. They offer convenience and can be charged anywhere as long as the sun is shining bright in the sky. On the other hand, solar-powered chargers are useful for charging phones, tablets, and other gadgets.
Solar lighting is an environment-friendly alternative every home desires to have. You also get solar powered security cameras that switch on the light in case of movement in the area around your home.
Current Limitation of Solar Energy:
The detailed comparison between solar energy and fossil fuels allows us to conclude that solar energy is a better and viable option than fossil fuels. It is the future of the world as it is efficient, accessible, and available for the long-run. However, when we compare the photovoltaic technology to fossil fuels, there are a few drawbacks related to solar energy:
You will need to install several solar panels to collect more sunlight. However, the roofs and homes of many individuals are not ideal for the installation of solar panels. You can try installing them in your yard or garden, but it leads to a lack of space. Moreover, many houses are not even equipped with sufficient yard space.
Hence, it should be our priority to enhance solar energy storage options at home. This will allow solar panels to be accessible to every individual for 24 hours.
Initial Costs of Solar Installation are high
The initial cost of installing solar panels is high. It may not be affordable for individuals from all income categories. Moreover, photovoltaic technology needs to improve constantly to lower the prices of extracting solar energy. Even though it is a profitable investment, the costs of setting up solar panels are not feasible.
Thus, solar energy experts and enthusiasts must dedicate time and effort to improve photovoltaic technology. It is a technology that is capable of converting sunlight into energy. The development of the equipment will further decrease the expenses on solar energy.
Some Association with Pollution from Production
Solar energy is an environment-friendly and safer option when compared to fossil fuels, as it does not emit carbon dioxide. However, there is some association between energy resources with pollution.
Transportation and installation of solar panels may lead to the emission of greenhouse gases. Moreover, certain hazardous and toxic materials are used in the manufacture of solar photovoltaic equipment. These harmful products may indirectly affect the environment.
Solar panels come with a remarkable life-span of half a century. However, disposing of the materials used for the construction of solar panels may lead to severe impacts on the environment. This fact cannot be ignored any longer and must be looked into.
However, solar energy does not pollute the atmosphere nearly as much as fossil fuels. It is a suitable option that is safer than alternative energy resources.
Weather Conditions Affecting Power Output
Solar energy can be collected on a rainy or cloudy day. However, the efficiency of the solar panel decreases. They require the sunlight to convert the rays into energy for diverse applications.
Moreover, solar energy cannot be collected at night. If you require water heating to work at night in the absence of sunlight, then consider opting for thermodynamics panels. These are ideal alternatives to solar panels.
Solar Technology vs. Natural Resources
The arguments between solar energy and fossil fuels also result in an argument between technology and natural resources.
Fossil fuels are available in various parts of the earth. They are also affordable to mine. However, these natural resources are prone to get extinguished because man has been using them extensively without thinking about conservation.
On the other hand, solar energy is collected from the sun through a technique referred to as photovoltaic technology. The photovoltaic equipment like solar panels and solar power plants are installed outdoors to collect the sun’s rays. The sunlight is then converted into an energy that can be used for various purposes.
Technology is always improving. Hence, the drawbacks related to solar energy will soon be addressed. The innovation of technology will make solar energy the most reliable and beneficial renewable source of energy soon. However, the same cannot be said for fossil fuels.
Solar energy is the future of the world that is here to stay.
Are we ready to make the shift?
The solar industry is booming around the globe because of its advantages.
Developed and developing countries are shifting towards a greener environment. They are opting to switch to solar energy in the hopes of combating climatic changes, expensive electricity bills, and boosting profits.
Today, houses are constructed and designed with solar panels. The solar panels collect solar energy to power the entire house.
The renewable source of energy is used to heat and cool the house. It also lights up the area, changing the way homes and businesses operate.
It is time for us to make the transition from fossil fuels to solar energy.
Conclusion: which is better solar energy or fossil fuels?
Solar panels are expensive to install, but they ensure a clean and renewable source of energy that is reliable.
We are gradually shifting away from fossil fuels to seek a sustainable source of energy that fulfills our requirements. Photovoltaic technology is evolving fast, and it will eliminate all the drawbacks associated with solar energy.
The efficiency of solar energy will keep improving. There will be a wider range of solar-powered products available in the markets. On the other hand, fossil fuels will take millions of years to replenish themselves. Hence, it will fail to exist while we or our future generations live.
Vishal Khot is the writer of this article. He is a freelance blogger and has written multiple articles for websites including reviews.in. He also likes to write product reviews about home, sports, and technology. On weekends you will find him playing football or riding bike. He likes to travel to various places.