Global Impact

Global, Economic, Environmental And Societal Impact

The sun is one of the most powerful energy sources available to humans, yet we rarely attempt to tap its immense power. Instead, we commonly use resources found locally, which are in ex-tremely limited quantity. This practice is very dangerous, as most of our infrastructure is based on these finite resources, and very little is based on any kind of long lasting or reusable power sources.

Solar power is indeed the way of the future, as society slowly understands this fact. By directly harnessing the power of the sun, we can cut back on wasting natural resources such as coal, oil and vegetation. Generating electrical current through a solar cell is much more beneficial to so-ciety in the long run, due to the minimal effects on our environment. Our planet cannot outlive the Sun; in fact it will be destroyed during the processes of our star’s extinction. Therefore in-stead of prematurely wasting our planet, we should attempt to use the free power of the Sun.

Our project takes the first steps in this new frontier of energy use. By recharging a batter by solar means, coal or other natural resources are saved. No coal is required to generate electrical current in power plants to power our device, saving both our air and natural resources. Not all power is generated by clean hydro electrical generators; in fact coal and nuclear means are very large contributors to electrical production. Both of these means are very detrimental to the environment, even after strict regulations are put into place. Nuclear waste is still a byproduct of nuclear plants, as is potential meltdown. Even as modern countries are more responsible in the regulation of nuclear safety, new third world counties which are in the developmental process run a great risk of leaving these regulations behind. Nuclear catastrophe is not a part of the past, it will always exist. Coal burning still emits chemicals that erode the ozone layer in our at-mosphere, which has been connected to global climate change. Global climate shifts can ulti-mately alter the entire face of the earth, including in the death of thousands of species. These forms of energy production have only short term gains in their efficiency, soon their true effects will be seen throughout the world. Unfortunately when such effects become noticeable, they will be irreversible. Therefore human kind must turn towards renewable resources, such as solar power, to further our lifespan.

If every person in the world relied solely on solar power, we could possibly reverse some of the damage done to the ozone layer and prevent global warming to progress. This would secure future generations for centuries. The purpose of technology is not to shorten our life spans, but instead to lengthen them. The debate over the reality of global warming is over, sufficient evi-dence has been found to prove its existence. Although its effects may not be seen for centuries, a mindset of apathy is a slippery slope that no country wants to take. Solar power is clean, meaning it produces no emissions. The only byproduct is electricity, which we can immediately use for numerous projects.

One less thought about benefit of solar power is primarily its reduction in nuclear power need. If our world was powered solely by solar means, nuclear research and development would slow immensely. At this very moment a great example of this issue exists: Iran is attempting to de-velop its nuclear potential for power generating reasons. The country claims the development is for purely peaceful means, but once the technology becomes refined it can easily transfer over towards weapon based technology. Even without the country’s consent, such information could be potentially stolen or sold and turned into a weapon. We do not only need to stray away from other sources of electrical power for environmental issues, but for social issues as well. Nuclear technology in the hands of those who wish to do damage is a very dangerous thing, and without the demand for the research the world will be that much safer. Iran is a very good example of where solar energy could be used instead of nuclear, as the region receives sufficient sunlight to power many portions of industry and individual needs.

The only argument given against solar power is its inefficient conversion of solar energy into electrical energy. That is exactly what our project will attempt to address. Either by reducing the power required by the product itself, or by increasing the output of the panel, this problem can easily be addressed and fixed. The true issue exists within the monopoly held by the traditional industries of energy. Such industries such as the oil industry, care very little for the long term effects of their products because they themselves will not live long enough to encounter the negative effects. Their decisions are commonly driven by selfish interests, which are always caused by financial gain. Without the public actively supporting solar power or other alternative means, in conjunction to protesting old power sources, we will never get out of this cycle. As long as the oil industry is more profitable than solar, negative environmental effects will occur. This is unfortunately one of the downsides to our economic market: its inability for rapid change.