Social Impacts of Solar Energy

by Brian Heuberger
Unlike fossil fuels, the sun provides us with an unlimitted source of energy.

Unlike fossil fuels, the sun provides us with an unlimitted source of energy.

The technological innovation of solar energy enables solar panels to capture the heat of the sun and utilize the energy to generate power and electricity for homes, buildings and cities. Solar panels help maximize the earth's resources and conserve energy. However, many social benefits can result from the use of solar energy in the United States.

Job Creation

When cities or companies decide to build and operate solar energy facilities, the projects often help to create numerous jobs. For instance, workers are needed to plan the project, develop and implement the project, build the solar energy plant, manage the equipment and operate the facility. Thus, many new jobs can be fulfilled by workers as a result of a city or state using solar energy facilities to generate electricity for the area, and this would in turn help decrease the unemployment rate of the given area.

Economics

There are many ways in which the use of solar energy can help stimulate the economy of the affected areas and of the US. With more people able to find employment as a result of the increased number of jobs created by the development and operation of solar energy panels, more people would have money to contribute the the nation's economy. Also, manufacturing solar energy is less expensive than burning fossil fuels, which is the traditional method of generating electricity. Thus, if businesses or households decide to use solar energy to power electricity in their homes or buildings, their electric bills can be substantially less than if they use energy generated from fossil fuels. Over an extended period of time the financial difference of cheaper electric bills can become quite significant, enabling families and businesses to inject more of their money into the economy.

Health

Generating energy from solar panels emits very little pollution into the air, and thus solar energy is a much cleaner source of energy than the burning of fossil fuels. Cities or areas that decide to use solar energy to power the buildings would thus enjoy a cleaner quality of air in the region, which in turn can make the citizens and workers in the area more healthy. Furthermore, studies indicate that burning fossil fuels helps facilitate global warming. However, because solar panels emit very low amount of hazardous pollution into the air, solar energy does not damage the atmosphere or cause global warming. Thus, if areas decide to use solar energy to generate electricity, the shift will help diminish the effects of global warming, such as the sea levels rising and storms intensifying.

Oil Dependence

In the United States, factories that burn fossil fuels to generate energy and power for homes and businesses rely on oil to generate the energy. As a result, the US is dependent on oil that often comes from foreign nations to create the electricity, and sometimes the money the US pays for foreign oil is used to harbor or support terrorism. However, if the US adopted policies and implemented more solar energy programs, not as much oil would be needed in the country and thus the amount that the US purchases from foreign nations would be reduced. Therefore, the dependence for foreign oil would be diminished if more households and companies used solar energy to generate electricity instead of fossil fuels.

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