Solar energy is radiant energy from the sun that has been utilized by humans for various purposes over the centuries. In modern times, scientists and engineers are focusing on making solar energy a viable source of electricity on a large scale. The biggest problem with solar energy is efficiency; solar panels only convert a small percentage of the radiant energy they collect into usable electricity. In spite of this, there are many solar energy benefits.
To a business-minded individual, the most important of all of the solar energy benefits is that use of solar energy can, potentially, save a lot of money. After an initial investment into a solar energy collecting device, there are no costs beyond some possible upkeep. The energy collected comes from the sun, and is not dependent on any other fuel source or energy company. The collected solar energy is, therefore, free once the initial investment has been paid off. One can actually sell excess energy to the energy companies, and the government offers financial incentives for the use of solar power.
Another of the many solar energy benefits is the near-total lack of need for maintenance. Barring major problems, there is generally no need for maintenance or upkeep of solar energy systems. They operate silently, require no fuel, involve no recurring costs, and can last for decades. When the need for more energy increases, one can simply add more solar panels. Simplicity is very significant among solar energy benefits.
Many praise the use of solar energy because it is environmentally friendly. Solar energy is a renewable resource that involves no harmful fumes, no disruptive drilling, and no destructive burning. The use of solar energy does not contribute to acid rain, global warming, smog, or habitat destruction. When used as a substitute for other fuels, solar energy goes great lengths to decrease the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Using solar energy benefits not only humans, but the plants and animals of the Earth as well.
The use of solar energy benefits individuals, businesses, society, wildlife, and the world as a whole. Solar energy benefits range from economic gains, such as low energy costs, to ethical gains, such as combating the destruction of the environment. The practice of using solar energy for electricity is still in its infancy. The benefits of solar energy use will only grow in number and in magnitude as the efficiency of solar energy collection devices improves.