The Value and Cost of Solar Energy As Compared
In today’s discussion we will take a look at “renewable” energy, what it is, from where does it come?, how is it used?, and most importantly, what does it cost. We will also take a look at the many forms in which it is found. “Many forms”, you ask?. Yes, renewable energy, contrary to what 90% of the human population believes, is not just “wind” atmospheric water generator and “solar” energy. As a matter of fact Solar energy, as a power source, has only come into “vogue” in the last couple of hundred years.
So how do we define “renewable” energy? Well, I like to use the following simple guideline as my definition of what renewable energy is. Here we go. “Renewable energy” is any natural energy source which is… “Renewable”. Wow, sometimes I amaze myself. Seriously though, that’s all it is. I might add the fact that it also is given to us by; provided by, nature. In other words, Nature is saying, “here you go people, use this for energy because I always have more”.
OK, now let me clarify something here. Based on my above definition you might assume that Coal, Oil, and Natural gas are also renewable energy sources due to the fact that they also come from and are provided through nature. They are, however the keyword here is “renewable”.
You see, Coal, Oil and Natural gas while created through nature and natural processes, cannot be renewed, at least, not for hundreds of millions of years. They are called “fossil” fuels because, as the name implies, they are created, literally from fossils, dead organisms, packed one upon the other, under enormous pressure for a long, long, time.
So, how many forms of natural, renewable energy are there?
We are all familiar with the two most well known, Solar and wind energy. However there are some other forms used but not as well known. Time and space will not allow for discussion of all these but I will name some of them. Biomass, Bio-fuels, Geo-thermal and, I’ll bet you forgot this one, It’s also one of the oldest, Hydropower.
Of all of these this writer prefers Solar energy most, after all, who doesn’t love the sun? Honestly, there many reasons I believe solar renewable energy is positioned to become one of the most commonly used sources available within the next generation. What do I mean? Well let’s look at three measures that determine popularity; cost, technology and availability/ accessibility