Over the last few decades, solar energy has become increasingly popular in the western states of the US. Solar energy revolves around harnessing radiant light from the sun to power our activities of daily living. Solar energy has been used in cars, planes, and even boats with varying degrees of success although vast improvements have been made over the last two decades. Solar energy has been used in applications such as heating, cooking, storing energy in large energy cells and can even be used on individual residential houses with the proper equipment. The most common way to capture solar energy is through the use of solar cells. Solar cells became increasingly popular during the 1980s when people began placing them atop their houses to reduce the cost of electricity. However, this proved to be ineffective versus the actual cost of placement, and solar energy lost its momentum. However, during the mid 1990s, with the start of the green energy movement in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gasses and pollution in general, solar power once again became a focal point for alternative energy forms.
Solar Energy Farms
During the present, some vast land owners in the western states of the US are creating large scale solar farms. Solar farms consist of acre upon acre of solar panels set up to a subset of a local power grid. The sub-grid will sell its energy to the local power grid, which will pass this power onto its consumers. Solar power farms have the potential to supply entire towns with enough energy to power almost everything imaginable. However, there are some opponents of these solar power farms who have concerns for the environment. Because the solar farms will take up such large amounts of land, some feel this will unsettle the ecological homeostasis of the environment around these large solar farms. However, research has been shown that environments surrounding solar power farms show minimal damage when compared with harvesting other sources of energy.
The Future of Solar Power
Everyday there are gains made to increase the ability for solar energy to be more useful. Batteries are being developed that are capable of storing larger amounts of energy so power can be stored or even transported if need be. As the world continues to look for more forms of alternative energy, solar power will once again become one of the main forerunners in the industry.