In this day and age, it is nearly impossible to escape the energy debate. Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with facts (or alleged facts) about the truth of energy sources, climate change, and fiscal advantages of certain types of energy over another. Two of the heavyweights duking it out in this great debate are solar energy and nuclear energy. As with most things of great import, there are proponents for both, and they all have their reasons for supporting their champion. So what are their arguments and which is truly the best option for our future energy production? Let’s take a closer look.
There can be no denying, solar energy can be a key asset in the future of energy production. As Sun Valley’s solar energy experts, we know better than anyone the benefits of solar power.
- Sustainable, renewable energy source
- Solar panels require little maintenance
- Silent producer of energy
- Continual advancements increase efficiency
- Secure energy source
- Zero emissions
There are, however, a few drawbacks that have yet to be resolved. For example, solar panels themselves provide clean energy, but the production of solar energy systems does create waste, such as the chemical by-products of polysilicon, a key element of solar cells. Another issue facing the solar energy industry is that fact that in many countries, old or broken units cannot be recycled efficiently. In California in 2007-2011, nearly 17 companies produced almost 46.5 million pounds of sludge and contaminated water. A large percentage of this waste is being stored in hazardous waste facilities throughout the state, but much of it was also transported to other states. So not only was hazardous waste produced, but the transportation of it contributed to air pollution and carbon emissions.
These are challenges that the solar industry and our society need to strive to fix before solar energy can be 100% waste free. Still, even in spite of these challenges, solar energy remains a viable and important tool in the effort to move towards renewable and clean energy.
Stay posted until next time when we will take a closer look at nuclear energy. In the meantime, for all of your solar energy needs, contact Green Road Solar right here in Sun Valley.