RESEARCH bias nearly anywhere in the world. I

RESEARCH ESSAY

Solar Power as an
Efficient Source of Alternative Energy in Canada

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            Most people fundamentally understand
that our current energy system is ultimately unsustainable and that renewable
energy, including solar energy, will be an inevitable part of our common
future.  Solar power has become an
efficient alternative energy source that results in a cleaner environment, a
stronger economy and great freedom in the world, due to energy
independence.  Solar energy has
multitudes of applications, such as powering homes, buildings, and cars that
give people different cheaper cost-effective options and solutions.  Entire cities could be using solar energy,
with no emissions, at reasonable prices, using an absolutely free resource that
is accessible without bias nearly anywhere in the world.  I will be focusing on the increased use of
solar power as an efficient alternative energy resource in various
neighborhoods across Canada and also the world. 
Energy is key to Canadian economy, and even those who are unwilling to
reduce the grip that fossil fuels have on our energy needs acknowledge that
renewables will play an increasingly vital role.  Moreover, I will offer information on the
installation cost of a home solar systems and how they work in homes in
Ontario.  New energy sources and new ways
of using energy have had transformative effects on society.  The existing technical solutions to the
present energy system and the potential for energy efficiency in power
production will be further explained.  In
general, many Canadian cities have a solar potential that is comparable
internationally with that of many major cities. 
There are various impacts associated with the use of solar energy.  The social, environmental, and economic
impacts of solar energy use are the most important.  Sun’s energy or solar power is becoming more
and more affordable and therefore should be used by many people. 

            The social effect of solar power use
is crucial because it is about everyday peoples’ and communities’ experiences
with alternative energy resources, such as energy from the sun.  Experts
forecast that the worldwide demand for alternative energy will grow 40% over
the next two decades.  With more than
seven billion people living on the planet, the necessity for effective,
dependable and reasonably priced energy – distributed with slightest impact on
the environment – proves to be a very significant matter.  So as we move into an era of energy shortage,
we are moving into an age that demands alter as well.  Canada is one of the major energy consumers
in the world due to its climate and size (long-distance transport is a big factor).
Of course, we have an plenty of oil, but only oil will not be sufficient enough.
 As oil prices increase (as most
individuals are certain they will), alternative forms of energy will be
required to meet rising needs – renewables like wind, solar and geothermal, for
instance.  William
Smith, senior vice-president (energy sector) at Siemens Canada, certainly
trusts that we are getting wiser about preserving our energy resources.
“Demand will not likely increase at the same levels as it has in the past
because we’re getting smarter. But we need to invest $10 today in order to save
$10 in the future. We need to take a longer-term view.”  I certainly agree with William Smith’s stance
on this important topic and I truly believe that the only solution in the
world’s energy crisis is to find alternative energy resources, such as solar
energy, which is one of the most efficient and environment-friendly.  The technological innovation of solar energy
allows solar panels to capture the heat of the sun and exploit that energy to
produce power and electricity for homes, buildings and cities.  Solar panels help make best use of the earth’s
resources and most importantly conserve energy.  Even so, numerous social benefits can result
from the use of solar energy in Canada and the world, overall.  One of key advantages is the job
creation.  When municipalities or
businesses choose to build and operate solar energy facilities, such plans
frequently assist in creating many jobs.  For instance, workers are needed in order to
plan the project, grow and implement the project, build the solar energy plant,
and control the equipment as well as manage the facility.  Therefore, plentiful new jobs can be
satisfied by employees as a consequence of a city or province using solar
energy facilities to generate electricity for the region, and such action would
in turn help to reduce the unemployment rate of that given region or province.  In summary, solar energy use has the following
impacts on humans:

It is one of
the cleanest sources of renewable energy.
Does not
release any gas and does not pollute the air that we breathe.
Once the
solar system is installed, it provides free energy and can last for over
25-50 years. In the long-run, solar system will save its consumers some
serious cash. 
There is no
maintenance required and you can always add new solar panels to your solar
system if you require more energy.
Solar energy
is renewable and widely available.
You can sell
the excess energy your solar panels harvest back to the national grid and
this action will lower your electricity bill.
You don’t
have to be connected to the national grid to get electricity, therefore
you can use solar systems in isolate locations without having to have long
wires connecting to the national grid.
The main impact
is more money into the user wallet because you will get free electricity
for a very long time and it will pay itself many times over.
Having solar
panels implemented in your home will increase your house’s market value.
Can be used
to warm water on hot water heaters and cook food with solar ovens.

Another positive impact of solar energy use is the
positive environmental effect.  Generating
energy from solar panels releases very little pollution into the air, and
consequently solar energy is a much cleaner alternative energy resource than
the burning of fossil fuels.  Cities and
other regions that adopt solar energy technology to power the buildings would
in turn benefit from a cleaner quality of air in the region, which in result
can prevent its residents from diseases that are associated with a polluted and
dirty environment.  Moreover, studies show
that burning fossil fuels causes rise in the temperatures, thus resulting in a global
warming.  Conversely, due to solar panels
releasing a low amount of dangerous pollution into the air, solar energy does
not harm the atmosphere or cause global warming.  As a result, if cities and its residents want
to use solar energy to produce electricity, such alteration will help to lessen
the consequences of global warming, such as the sea levels rising and storms intensifying.  Furthermore, materials that are used to produce solar panels are recyclable and at
the end of solar panel lifespan, a person can recycle the portions, which in
turn provides very little pollution to impact the environment.  The only pollution from solar energy is the
manufacturing of solar panels and its transporting, but the pollution is very slight,
compared to other alternative energy sources, like coal or nuclear.  The total ecological effect
of solar energy is based on the scale of the solar project and
what the energy is ultimately implemented for. 
Obviously, large scale solar energy projects will have a greater effect
on the environment, both positively and negatively.

At last, the economical effect of solar energy use
should not be underestimated, as there are much more advantages than
disadvantages that solar power implementation brings to the nations’
economies.  Solar
energy has a positive impact not only in the provinces’ economy, but in the
national economy as well.  The first and
most noticeable example is the reduction in usage of foreign imported oil as an
energy source keeping that money in the country.  A perfect example of one of the world’s main
solar energy users would be Canada’s next door neighbor, the United
States.  According to S.U.N. Report (https://www.solarenergyworld.com/2011/12/09/how-solar-energy-impacts-the-economy/),
by the end of 2016, the U.S. will be producing sufficient amounts of clean
solar energy to power 8 million homes, helping to offset 45 million metric
tons of damaging carbon emissions – the equivalent of removing 10 million cars
off our roads and highways.  S.U.N.
report also informs that “the solar industry added 35,000 jobs in 2015, up 20%
from the previous year, according to the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit in
Washington D.C., not funded by solar companies. In contrast, oil and gas firms
slashed nearly 17,000 extraction jobs in 2015 as energy prices continue to
plummet. Oil prices were down a stunning 70% in the last 18 months and hovering
just over $30 a barrel, a 12-year low. There are about 209,000 solar energy
employees in the U.S. They include solar panel installers, designers,
engineers, sales folks and managers.”  In
addition, a decision
to introduce solar energy is usually motivated with an expected increase in the
building’s or home’s economical, ecological or functional value.  Solar energy system installation and
implementation will greatly increase the future financial worth of a house,
building, meaning that homeowners will not only benefit from cleaner and more
efficient solar energy, but could sell their homes for a higher price just
because of installing solar panels.  There
are several more ways that solar energy benefits the economy, directly and
indirectly.  By decreasing your home’s
use of traditional energy sources, you help preserve natural ecosystems, thus
reducing taxpayer funded clean ups and potentially devastating oil spills and
natural gas leaks.  If your photovoltaic
solar panels make more energy than your home requires, you can sell energy back
to your local utility company, leaving more money in your pocket to use at
restaurants, movie theaters, or for financial investments.  Across Canada, home owners are adding solar
panels to their rooftops in order to save electricity and to shrink their power
bills considerably.  They are picking to
use their own solar energy first, and many houses meet 20-50% of their yearly
power necessities from their rooftop system. 
They are selecting to use green energy over nuclear and coal.  Since fees for solar power in Canada have dropped
dramatically over the past 5 years, solar power systems are now fairly
inexpensive.  These Canadian solar energy
plans and initiatives definitely simplify the ways that Canadians can
incorporate solar power systems into their homes.  Solar power systems last for decades, so homeowners
will continue to save money on their power bills for long period of time.  An investment in solar energy is a solid investment
in your family’s environmental and financial future.  Finally, the government has a variety of subsidies,
tax rebates, and other incentives for the citizens to implement solar energy
systems in their homes.  Canada has a
large solar energy organization, which is a major player on a national and
global scale.  The Solar Energy Society of Canada Inc. (SESCI) is a
national charitable, non-profit organization, established in 1974 in Winnipeg,
which set up its national office in Ottawa in 1982.  SESCI has the comprehensive social objective
of endorsing the growth and use of all forms of solar energy.  The Society has over 500 members from all
Provinces and Territories, with affiliates in the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario,
Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia and a slight worldwide member
representation.  SESCI’s membership is
open to all with an awareness in solar energy and currently SESCI comprises of
university research and development specialists, solar equipment manufacturers
and retailers, federal and provincial government professionals, builders,
architects, engineers, students and members of the general public.  SESCI is also the Canadian representative of
the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), which has more than 5,000
members in 108 countries and over 50 national sections. SESCI, with over 20
years of history, has the creditability of being the ongoing voice of energy
conservation and the use of solar energy in Canada.

In conclusion, the knowledge of the importance and necessity of
alternative energy sources, such as solar power, is critical because the
world’s energy is limited and will definitely run out soon enough.  Solar power is an immense source of directly useable energy and
eventually produces further energy resources, such as biomass, wind, hydropower
and wave energy.  Most importantly, solar
energy is available anywhere on Earth and can be collected easily with portable
devices, which makes it even more accessible. 
There is absolutely no doubt that alternative energy resources and
specifically solar energy has a bright and prosperous future.