Sample Research Paper on Solar Electric Systems

Policy Brief: Solar Electric Systems

Executive Summary

This policy brief intends to explore the ways solar energy can be utilized to combat the menace of greenhouse effect and minimize the effects of global warming. The benefits of using solar energy have been laid down together with the limitations and a comparison made between the two to establish which outweighs the other. Another matter that has been keenly researched on is how solar energy is tapped and how the cost of enhancing it can be reduced and ways to maximize the amount of solar energy harvested. Lastly, a comparison is made between solar electric systems and systems that use other form of generation like hydroelectric power, diesel powered systems and pressure powered systems.

Recommendations

The brief proposes and encourages the use of solar energy electric systems since the generation of solar energy does not involve use of the expensive and diminishing fossil fuel that have been in use for long. Furthermore, it has been proven that solar energy is renewable and environmentally friendly as it depletes nothing from Mother Nature. It also provides a flexible mode of generating power where even domestic solar power generation and storage facilities can be installed. Due to the current degradation in the climatic conditions leading to global warming as a result of the ever growing nuclear radiation activities, carbon emission and over exploitation of the natural resources, solar electric systems can no longer be taken for granted.

The brief also proposes use of more efficient and highly reliable solar generating plants and devices. For instance, the best solar panel in the world only converts 15% of the solar energy incident on it and reflects the rest. Therefore Scientist in collaboration with the Engineers should come up with a way of increasing this percentage to at least 50% so as to tap more energy and ensure a constant supply of power to the grid even during season of high energy consumption like spring.

The paper also recommends that the government should invest more in this form of energy. This can be inform of tax exception to firms that embraces  the generation and use of solar form of energy , offering grants and funding solar powered projects. The government should also empower its citizen to do more research and innovations in the field of solar driven systems.

The final recommendation is that people especially the rural illiterate people should be educated and informed on the need to use solar electric systems for cooking, lighting and charging their electronic devices such as phones. This will help salvage the forests as most of these rural people use firewood as their main source of energy. Therefore, offering an alternative like solar electric systems and devices to such people will help solve to some extent the problem of environmental degradation.

Introduction

The world environmental conditions are rapidly changing with the cold areas becoming colder and dry areas becoming drier each day. The reason for this is the depletion of the ozone layer which protects the earth from the harmful sun rays(Ajanovic and Haas 169-180). Therefore its depletion leads to extraneous radiation raysfinding their way to the surface of the earth. The reason fordegradation of the ozone layer is the continuous emission of toxic and highly reactive carbon compounds into the atmosphere more so from developed and industrialized countries like China. Carbon emission combined with the rapid encroachment into the natural forests has greatly contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer leading to a phenomena referred to asglobal warming. To illustrate the effects of industrial emission to the environment and climatic condition New York the largest city in the world is considered. NewYork experiences very random and sharp rise in temperatures going up to 390c especially in the industrial areas. Furthermore this city receives very sporadic rainfall patterns raining only in a small area and it is sunny in the nearby region.

However, all these adverse effects on the environment can be averted by making use of renewable energy sources. This can be in the industries, homes, vehicles on our roads and even come up with solar powered trains. Out of all these renewable energy sources, which include solar, geothermal, wind and hydroelectric power, solar power is the most abundant and flexible source of renewable energy.  The use of solar energy does not lead to emission of any harmful carbons or radiations into the environment like burning of diesel to power a machine. Solar power system if used will lead to the preservation of the world forest reserves and therefore the air will be well filtered and normalize the climatic pattern to some acceptable level. The solar electric systems are also scalable meaning that more solar panels and battery backup can be added to these systems to meet the rise in power demand.

Policy Implications

Some of the policy that have come up regarding  renewable  energy sources specifically solar energy system in America include: research and development; storage; solar tax credit; Federal power plant carbon standards; renewable electricity standards and New utility business model .

Solar tax credit has been a major policy in pushing and supporting American citizen to opt for solar on their rooftop instead of relying on the national grid. For instance by 2014 there were about 400, 000 solar electric systems generating up to 13, 400 Megawatts(MW) enough to supply around 2.4 million average American households. This policy has been changed over time by congress, reducing the funding for these projects and cutting down the credit to interested borrowers from 50% to 10%. Such a change in policy should be reversed and increase funding and resources available for loaning companies willing to undertake huge solar power projects (Hoppmann 540-558).

Research and development policies which encourage innovation of cheaper solar systems, efficient modules, huge battery capacities, improved mounting and invertor systems and streamlined transaction are perfect the way they are. However, political influence still hinders the funding of the research and development of solar electric systems. Therefore this policy need to change the amount of funding reserved for the purpose of research and development of solar energy systems. Furthermore, the money could be used to organize seminars where people from various backgrounds can showcase their innovativeness and new discoveries in the field of solar electric system. This could take the country towards clean, reliable, pollution free and renewable energy sources instead of using the dirty and pollutant fossil energy sources.

Another policy is the new utility business model which encourages companies and business premises to put up rooftop solar electric systems. The only thing that can be added in this policy is the proposition that these firms should expand their solar generation capability. Therefore using solar power at all times instead of using it just as backup. The benefits accrued from such a change are numerous such as reduced cost of power, conservation of environment as solar energy power generation does not result to any air pollution or carbon emission and does not take any input apart from the natural sunlight.

Renewable electricity standards which are policies that advocate for transition from the traditional method to the renewable and clean power generation systems.  Such systems include solar electric systems, geothermal power systems, hydroelectric systems and wind energy systems. This policy is of paramount importance and should remain as it is. This is so because these form of power sources are clean, efficient and reliable. For instance, solar energy has had a great impact on the Americans economically. By the year 2013, there were about 6000 solar companies employing around 140,000 people. The biggest win that solar has made so far is that it pumps into the American economy $ 15 annually(Kerr 193-193).

Federal power plant carbon standards are policies that regulate the use of carbon pollutant such as fossil fuels. However, the policies aim at encouraging companies and individual to use clean and non-pollutant energy sources.

Conclusion

In conclusion it has been seen that use of renewable source of energy such as solar will save the population from endangering life on this earth. The effects of the use of solar electric system have been proven to be very safe. However, challenges are still seen in terms of cost incurred to generate power using the sun, storage for a huge amount of energy in form of heat has still proven to be a hard and an expensive task. With the ongoing research, the current situation is likely to change and twenty years down the line the whole world might be getting its energy from renewable sources of energy.

 

Work Cited

Hoppmann, J. “The Role Of Deployment Policies In Fostering Innovation For Clean Energy Technologies: Insights From The Solar Photovoltaic Industry”. Business & Society 54.4 (2014): 540-558. Web.

Ajanovic, Amela, and Reinhard Haas.”Driving With The Sun: Why Environmentally Benign Electric Vehicles Must Plug In At Renewables”.Solar Energy 121 (2015): 169-180. Web.

Kerr, R. A. “GLOBAL WARMING: Greenhouse Warming Passes One More Test”. Science 292.5515 (2001): 193-193. Web.