Over the years, there’s been a change in the energy mix for the USA and the world.
In 2020 alone 19GW of power generation capacity was added, with Q4 numbers still coming in. Some people may wonder: “Why switch to solar energy?” Given some technological challenges with the energy source, it isn’t a bad question.
We’re going to cover some other options and why switching to solar could be the best choice we have. Keep reading to find out now!
Contenders to Solar Energy
While fossil fuels remain a popular choice for many reasons, support for this technology is diminishing fast. The technology is well understood and mature, the profit margins are good, the supply chain is strong and mature, and fuel is abundant. Unlike nuclear power, there are no proliferation concerns either.
Some technologies surrounding molten salts are also transferrable between power generation sources, including solar. Next-gen fusion nuclear plants are not only smaller and tend to be modular but also use molten salt instead of water as a coolant.
Because the fuel type is different from what creates nuclear weapons, proliferation is not a concern. Any radioactive elements can be chemically separated from the salt, which is very different than working with water as a coolant.
Also, Working with radioactive elements in a molten state is much easier and safer.
Some fission reactor configurations also use molten salts for their heat transfer properties. Fission plants make salts fusion reactors need and fusion reactors make salts fission reactors need. The problem for both is the supply chain.
While some of these technologies are attractive, they’re either bogged down with regulatory issues or always “ten years away.”
Why Switch to Solar Energy?
Solar is cheaper per KwH than energy from any kind of fossil fuels, even without subsidies, since 2018. Technology and material production has had a renaissance since 2015 in particular. However, new perovskite production methods are putting even more pressure on the age-old fuel source.
The supply chain for molten salts is very limited and suppliers are not as apt to source if there is a limited customer pool.
Battery technology is catching up. 3D batteries and better Lithium-Ion battery systems have made it possible to power cities for up to four hours on batteries alone. The race to a renewable-energy-only future is currently turning the corner.
Soon, there may be no need for collected energy solar plants.
Seeing this on the horizon, installation companies are becoming available in almost every region of the USA. Seeing solar installers’ pages, like this one at https://blueravensolar.com/virginia/richmond/, many people are finding out that with solar credits and providing power back to the grid, they may even be able to get money back from power companies.
Other power sources like nuclear or fossil fuels don’t offer the freedom that wind and solar power do. Some have managed to go “off the grid,” even in a city, with their help.
The Sunny Solar Future
“Why switch to solar energy?” We covered a lot of reasons pretty quickly, but we’re sure you get the idea. It’s economical, environmentally friendly, and scalable.
The future is bright with solar energy at its heart.
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