Analyze the cause of the lack of development of renewable energy sources. For many years, renewable energy seemed to be the way out of the fossil fuel shortage, which will be hitting the economy within the next few years. However, when these alternative energy sources were invented, they were not being able to compete with the fossil fuel energy. So the hopes of the public for a fast turn-around of electricity production did not come true. The very slow process of improving these new techniques and adding them to the public power network has been an indication for some people that the dream of alternative, renewable energy sources has failed.
Furthermore, many of the activists who wanted to shut down all fossil fuel plants when photovoltaic and wind power systems were introduced, are now the ones speaking against hydro- and wind-power because of the environmental impacts and the big number of birds who are killing by the windmill blades (Bradley 2). Although renewable energy is expensive and harmful to the environment and wildlife, it will succeed against fossil fuel energy sources and photovoltaic, wind- and hydro-power will be the energy source of the future.
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Solar cells are thin wafers of silicon which, exposed to sunlight, produce DC electric current. Today, solar equipment for a normal household is about $15,000. For a lot of people this is too much keeping in mind that it takes many years to use electricity worth that amount. Modern photovoltaic modules are able to produce Sebastian Seidel 2 electricity at 20 cents to 30 cents a kilowatt hour (Flanigan 2). In comparison in Texas , a kilowatt hour produced by fossil energy is about 7. 6 cents (Linden 1). Therefore, solar modules have to become cheaper and more efficient, which they continually have in the past.
John Greenwald points out that “The price of the photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight to electricity has fallen precipitously from $500 a watt in the 1960s to about $4 today” (1). He continues, “[c]ompanies are now rushing to break the $2 barrier, which would reduce the residential cost of solar electricity from 30 cents per kWh to near the 12 cents average price of electric in California” (1). Although solar electricity seems very expensive, for many third world regions, it is a lot cheaper setting up so called mobile photovoltaic systems than connecting those regions to the country’s electricity grid.
Keith Lee Kozloff writes in his report that, “[i]n fact, more rural households in Kenya get electricity from Pvs than from the national grid” (5). Pvs are electricity generators which operate away from the public electricity grid (5). Without doubt, photovoltaic systems are too expensive for a normal household nowadays. But as Steven Strong, a designer of solar homes, explains, “[e]ven Edison first electrified the homes of his wealthy investors, so the high-end client has always been fertile ground” (qtd. in Greenwald 1).