Table of Contents
Solar energy has been an imperative source of energy, especially in the current global economies, where the awareness about adoption of environmentally friendly sources of power has ensued. However, there are various other sources of energy that can be adopted for energy purposes in the global economies. Although, bio fuels have constantly and widely been used in the global economies for provision of energy, they have dire consequences on the environment. This has led to an introduction of the various sources of energy, as awareness on environmental degradation has continued unabated. Solar energy has been among the major sources of alternative energy. Alternative energy has been regarded as the sources of energy with no undesired consequences on the environment, such as the solar energy and nuclear energy (John, 2012).
Alternative sources of energy are primarily the renewable ones, which are termed, as free sources of energy. These sources have low rate of carbon dioxide emission, as compared to the conventional bio fuels. Alternative sources of energy include biomass energy, wind energy, solar energy, geothermal power and hydroelectric power. These alternative sources of energy have been termed as the primary sources of energy that will enable human beings to survive in the 21st century. Majority of the alternative sources of energy have been in existence for decades, and various societies have adopted them as their primary sources of energy (Maria, 2012).
For example, wind has been among the sources of alternative energy used for decades, in various societies. History has it that wind energy was discovered in 5000 BC, when travelers were using the wind in order to sail and navigate through Nile river. It was also used by Persians for more than 400 years by 900 AD for the purpose of pumping water from wells. In the current global economies, various peoples have realized the importance of wind, as an essential source of energy. Increased research on the alternative sources of energy has led to the reduction of costs of producing energy using wind. Globally, it has been approximated that the cost of producing wind energy has dropped by more than 15 percent, which has led to the installation of more global wind energy sources. Wind energy has doubled in the world in the 20th century, as compared to the 19th. This has happened due to the increased availability and affordability of wind energy, since it is a natural pollution-free source of energy. However, it has various flaws, since it suffers from the lack of energy density, as compared to the solar radiations forming the solar energy (Maria, 2012). In addition, it’s a diffuse source of energy, which means that for energy to be produced large generators and turbines have to be installed. Wind energy is also not available everywhere, as compared to the solar type. There are some areas with no wind; hence, its energy cannot be produced in such places. Production of wind energy is capital intensive, as installation of a wind farm is very expensive; therefore, the consumers of such energy will have to pay quite large amount of money.
Political Implications and Influences of Solar Energy
The global political system plays an imperative role in decision making on major issues regarding the production of energy, since it is directly attached to the environment. Environmental pollution has been an increasing concern for all global economies and the political system plays an imperative role in creation of the legal structures and regulations. However, there has been a need all around the globe to develop systems and energy sources that are friendly to the environment. Solar energy has been an imperative alternative source of energy with the increasing demand for production of environmentally friendly sources of energy.
Government and the political system of a country are endowed with policy decisions regarding production of energy in this particular country. Therefore, political system affects and influences the adoption of solar energy in the global economies. However, majority of the political systems have set policies for exploration of alternative sources of energy in order to reduce environmental pollution caused by bio fuels. Energy is an essential resource in all economies. However, in the recent past, the cost of oil has shot up and the majority of the economies are seeking alternative sources of energy. To solve the energy crisis globally, the political system has to work with the existing social systems to explore alternative sources of energy (Flickr, 2012).
Environmental issues, such as global warming, have become mainstream reality in majority of the economies, leading to the increased concerns about pollution and energy consumption. Governments are encouraging adoption of alternative sources of energy through creation of the incentives in order to attract the private sector participation. Majority of these projects will increase employment opportunities by reducing unemployment, which is a major concern in most global economies and political systems. In most US states, there have been projects aimed at producing solar energy due to various incentives offered by the government (John, 2012). This has led to the increased production of alternative sources of energy, and primarily, the solar energy has more than doubled in capacity in the past decade.
There have also been other multinational institutions, such as World Bank, which have participated in various projects in developing economies to encourage adoption of solar energy. For example, it has invested 5 billion US dollars in North Africa in clean technology for the purposes of clean energy production. The projects are aimed to be completed by 2015 and it is projected that they will have a capacity of producing more than 900 MW by 2020. Therefore, political system plays an imperative role in determination of solar energy production, primarily by creation of the supportive environment, such as incentives (Flickr, 2012).
Public Opinion, Such As the Media, Consumers and Community, on Solar Energy
Globally, there has been a shift from the conventional sources of energy to the clean ones. With the recent financial crisis, which is worse than the great depression in the 1930s, characterized with an increased unemployment and inflation of basic commodities, the situation gets especially bad. There have been perceptions that the public does not care about the issues of climate change or ensuring sustainable living. The ordinary person in the global economies is concerned about the issues to do with climate change given the prevailing economic conditions (Bray, 2011). This has been perpetuated by the media pitting the ordinary people globally against the green policies. However, environmental concerns have raised developed public opinion, which is more positive and complex. There has been an increasing support from the public on issues affecting the environment.
Majority of people in the public want their lives to be greener and affordable to facilitate environmental conservation. There is a need for governments to develop policies that facilitate adoption of green technology by the common citizens, such as policies and tax considerations for green technology. Although there is no questions, as to the choice of the most essential issues in the globe, when one compares environmental issues with the economic ones. Majority of people are concerned more with the economic issues, as compared to the environmental ones. However, there is no question as to the essentiality of environment in ensuring successful economic growth. The media has increased its focus on economic issues more, as compared to the environmental ones. Adoption of green energy has been rated as an essential practice in ensuring cleaner environment. Majority of people are concerned with maintenance of green technology, and solar energy has been among the essential practices of ensuring adoption of green technology. Therefore, the public is aware of the environmental issues and they are of a great importance to the majority of people. However, the media has increasingly taken on economic issues, as compared to environmental ones, but environmental issues have also remained essential in the media (Bray, 2011).
Effectiveness and Risk Assessment of Solar Energy Implementation
Implementation of the solar energy is primarily dependent on solar radiations and an availability of a suitable site for placing the solar panels. Installation of large solar energy plants requires approximately two hectares of land per megawatt. However, small scale green technology requires only solar water heaters, pressure valves modules and small scale concentrators, which can be installed and mounted in the existing structures such as rooftops. On completion of the solar project energy is captured through photovoltaic cells or heating a fluid or gas (Jean, 2010). The energy captured can be used directly in production of electricity or stored in various devices, such as batteries.
Risk arises from uncertainty of the outcomes, and in this case, the uncertainty lies in the fact that photovoltaic cells have various health implications in production of the dense energy. In the implementation process there is a need to understand all the process involved in the production of energy. This will enable to assess all the risks associated with the production of the solar energy. Therefore, there is a need to define the system of solar energy production to enhance assessment of associated risks. The definition of the system risks will be easily identified, verified and quantified. This can facilitate identification of experts that can help in mitigation of the risks, as well as in eliminating them; hence, enabling successful implementation (Chaves & Bahill, 2010).