Solar energy and its social consequences

For more on the benefits of solar power and other renewable energy technologies, see Benefits of Renewable Energy Use.

Cultural impact of solar energy

Concentrating solar thermal plants CSP , like all thermal electric plants, require water for cooling. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. 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. Hansen, S. 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. Kadner, T. Many of the regions in the United States that have the highest potential for solar energy also tend to be those with the driest climates, so careful consideration of these water tradeoffs is essential. However, many social benefits can result from the use of solar energy in the United States. Land Use Depending on their location, larger utility-scale solar facilities can raise concerns about land degradation and habitat loss. Most estimates of life-cycle emissions for photovoltaic systems are between 0. 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. Matschoss, S. 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. Eickemeier, G.

In addition, dry-cooling technology is significantly less effective at temperatures above degrees Fahrenheit. In both cases, this is far less than the lifecycle emission rates for natural gas 0.

Social impact of solar energy in india

Updated July 17, By Brian Heuberger 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. 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. 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. In both cases, this is far less than the lifecycle emission rates for natural gas 0. 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. Dry-cooling technology can reduce water use at CSP plants by approximately 90 percent [ 3 ]. Most estimates of life-cycle emissions for photovoltaic systems are between 0. For more on solar power technologies, see How Solar Energy Works. Workers also face risks associated with inhaling silicon dust. In addition, dry-cooling technology is significantly less effective at temperatures above degrees Fahrenheit. CSP plants that use wet-recirculating technology with cooling towers withdraw between and gallons of water per megawatt-hour of electricity produced.

Many of the regions in the United States that have the highest potential for solar energy also tend to be those with the driest climates, so careful consideration of these water tradeoffs is essential.

Also, manufacturing solar energy is less expensive than burning fossil fuels, which is the traditional method of generating electricity.

Negative social impacts of solar energy

For more on solar power technologies, see How Solar Energy Works. Hansen, S. These chemicals, similar to those used in the general semiconductor industry, include hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and acetone. CSP plants with once-through cooling technology have higher levels of water withdrawal, but lower total water consumption because water is not lost as steam. In both cases, this is far less than the lifecycle emission rates for natural gas 0. 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. Zwickel, P. However, as in all manufacturing processes, some water is used to manufacture solar PV components.

Edenhofer, R. Matschoss, S.

environmental impacts of solar energy

Thin-film PV cells contain a number of more toxic materials than those used in traditional silicon photovoltaic cells, including gallium arsenide, copper-indium-gallium-diselenide, and cadmium-telluride[ 5 ].

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The Social Costs of Solar Energy