Story Of The Month

Solar Energy-God's Unique Gift to Mankind

Solar Energy - God’s Unique Gift to Mankind

 

-Govind Singh

 

Ever since the Earth was first formed billions of years ago, the sun has been the ultimate source of all energy on this planet. If it weren’t for the sun, the earth would be a frozen, dark rock. More recently, in the earth’s geological time scale, the sun has also been responsible for photosynthesis and life. All the food that we eat is because of sun’s light energy that gets converted into chemical energy by green plants.

 

 

Coal, oil and all other forms of fossil fuel have played a critical role in shaping the present society. These fossil fuels are essentially ancient sunlight that has been captured by plants since the dawn of time. After billions of years of decomposing in the earth, this fossilized sunlight became the fuel that has been modern civilization’s battery pack. But, only until now.

 

The world today is facing an energy crisis of a different kind. We have large reservoirs of fossil fuels lying unused in the earth’s crust. These can be economically extracted and used to power the needs of modern civilization. However, depending on fossil fuels is no longer a good option as their indiscriminate use has already disturbed the delicate balance of earth’s natural process, leading to global warming. This and some more factors are now causing an even greater problem – the problem of global climate change.

 

 

 

 

Energy, however, is a driving force not just for the economy but also for all our daily activities. With the existing energy resources no longer being a viable option, it is time we shift to God’s most unique gift to mankind – Solar Energy! We now need to harness the potential of direct sunlight to meet our energy demand in a clean and sustainable manner.

 

We have always used direct solar energy as far back as humans have existed on this planet. When we hang laundry outside to dry in the sun, we are using the solar heat to do the work of drying our clothes. At the same time, solar cookers and solar water heaters that work using the thermal energy of the sun, have been popular for a very long time. With the advent of technology, we can now transform sun’s light energy into electricity using solar or photovoltaic cells. Energy so produced is clean, non-polluting and environment friendly. Indeed, even solar powered calculators that use light as a source of electricity; have also been popular for a very long time.

 

Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy is a free, widely available and renewable resource that does not release any polluting by-products. It has no negative effect on the environment and no harmful gases or other emissions are released from the production or use of solar energy. Solar energy is also the most important of all renewable energy sources because it is the only non-polluting source that can provide us enough energy required to fulfill our demand. Thus, when put to full use, solar energy can help us in attaining energy independence, minimizing both dangerous pollution levels and our dependence on fossil fuels.

 

The use of nuclear energy has led to accidental disasters like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island in the past. Not so long ago, the extraction and transportation of oil led to the Exxon Valdez Oil spill catastrophe in Alaska. Using thermal or Hydro means to meet our energy requirement comes with its own problems such as air pollution, health impacts and ecological imbalance, further accelerating global warming.

 

Solar energy is thus our only energy solution for the future and a pure gain to humanity. It subtracts nothing from the Earth’s crust and the world will not be in the last impoverished tomorrow by its fullest use. Contrary to popular belief, solar energy is also a highly cost effective technology that offers long-term savings, making it an ideal option for sustainable development. 

 

 

Apart from leading to a cleaner environment, shifting to solar energy also means reducing our electricity bills. Besides, solar energy is a decentralized means of energy. Nobody owns the sun and its energy falls in everybody’s backyard. Thus, solar energy is even more unique than we can imagine and an energy policy based on it will also ensure rural development. It is therefore time that we unpackage God’s most unique gift to mankind completely and explore and adopt it to its maximum potential.

 

 


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