Future of solar power is bright

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Future of solar power is bright

Opinion columnist Sam King discusses the future of solar farms and the use of sustainable energy around the world.

Opinion columnist Sam King discusses the future of solar farms and the use of sustainable energy around the world.

PEXELS

Opinion columnist Sam King discusses the future of solar farms and the use of sustainable energy around the world.

PEXELS

PEXELS

Opinion columnist Sam King discusses the future of solar farms and the use of sustainable energy around the world.

SAM KING, Opinion Columnist

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Many people use a lot of electricity. I know that I’m usually surprised when I get my electricity bill at the end of every month. Unfortunately, our world is slipping into an energy crisis which is due in part to how much electricity humanity uses.

Fortunately, there appears to be a solution to this problem. Several nations have already had great success with solar power solving their energy problems. While solar farms are nothing new, there have been some recent changes that have made the future of solar energy a little bit brighter.

First, there has been a significant drop in the price of the cost of solar panels and the systems that run them. According to a report by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory from last year, the cost has shrunk by a factor of five since 2010. That has made it much easier for many countries to invest in solar farms.

The second is that the energy crisis is getting worse. As countries like China continue to grow, they need fast and cheap ways to generate larger amounts of energy. Nonrenewable energy sources, such as coal, are proving to be ineffective at sustaining such large scale energy consumption. This is mainly because coal is an exhaustible resource and has some seriously negative effects on the environment.

Unfortunately, a country like China is reliant on coal. That reason alone has made people skeptical of their “war on pollution.” In a matter of four years, it’s become clear that China was serious about their war on pollution as they’ve cut down on air pollution by an average of 32 percent, according to the New York Times. This is in part due to their new, larger scale solar farms.

China has been leading the world in the installation of solar farms, installing them across their country at a rapid rate. They have sprawling solar farms floating on lakes and are currently planning on building what will be a two-gigawatt farm in Ningxia, according to Time Magazine.

The third change is the size of these solar farms.  A massive solar farm is currently being built in Southern Egypt. It will be completed before the one in Ningxia and will reign as the largest, producing 1.8 gigawatts of energy.

China will likely not be able to hold onto the title either, as India just greenlit a plan for a five-gigawatt plant, according to NBC. It doesn’t stop there either. Many countries like Italy, South Korea, Russia, and Japan are looking to increase their solar production as well. Japan is even working on a way to launch a solar farm in space where there is constant sunlight.

Nations are getting creative in solving their energy problems, and a lot of it is centered around solar energy. This is great news for the world.

Most people don’t want to run out of energy or pollute our planet, and now it looks like we have a real solution to help solve both problems. It’s hard to not be excited looking at the facts. Problems from before such as cost and a lack of infrastructure to carry solar energy are evaporating.

Europe has plans to make a supergrid, a transmission network that allows large amounts of energy to be transferred across the continent by the late 2020’s. This news should lift the spirits of even the most concerned environmentalist.

All I can say is that I am relieved. It looks like countries and their leaders are recognizing how good green energy can be. I know the average college student may not be in a constant state of worry about the environment, but I hope most of us care about the world around us.

Considering how negative news can be sometimes, this information is a shining diamond in the mud. I find it hard not to be excited.

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