In the midst of the global warming crisis and climate change issues, one of the most sustainable solutions to solve these concerns is the renewable energy. Solar energy is a renewable energy that offers high potentials and opportunities. It derives energy from sunlight converting it to energy in the form of electricity. The process of conversion called “photovoltaic” involves the solar panels composed of semiconductor materials that absorb the sunlight.
Solar Energy has been developed in the recent years due to the benefits and economic potentials it offers. This form of renewable energy increased in demand as the technology improved through the years. Solar energy offers sustainability and optimum profitability. With the recent technological developments, the utilization and installation cost for the PV cells for solar energy become easier and less costly. There are many long term benefits and incentives in a solar energy power plant. There is high economic potential for solar energy without harming the environment. It is a very sustainable solution for the current global warming phenomena. Both government and private sectors are looking into the solar energy as a potential for the future as a sustainable source of energy.
One of the biggest solar energy power plant projects that existed today is the Solar Star Project that is located in California, USA. This project is composed of two distinct projects: The Solar 1 and the Solar 2 with locations at Kern and Los Angeles. This project comprises of about 3,230 acres composed of 1.7 million Sun Power PV panels of monocrystalline silicon. The total generated energy for the Solar Star will reach to 579 megawatts. The equivalent power capacity of the power plant can power around 255,000 homes in California. The electricity generation has no emissions or any form of wastes.
Solar energy power plant sources its energy from the sun. The sun is an inexhaustible source making it a extremely sustainable form of renewable energy. Not all parts of the Earth can be feasible for solar energy. But those that receive sunlight at high amounts can definitely utilize this renewable energy and enjoy its benefits.
Solar energy power provides environmental sustainability. In this type of energy power, there is no burning of oil, fossil fuel, gases and coals that could produce emissions and contribute to the global warming. It is relies on practically limitless energy from the sun for the conversion of electricity making it highly viable in terms of its resource. The process of conversion does not involve pollution in the water and the air. There are no emissions that come out of the process of energy production. Very large solar energy power plant can affect the land use and agricultural sector. For the installation and operation of the energy plant, there is a clearing of the land that happens. This may mean that vegetation, plants, and trees are needed to be removed for the installation of the long arrays of PV cells. The plant and animal life may be affected such that the natural habitat for the native animals and plants may be disturbed. Power plants in large scale may also require water for cleaning purposes and cooling effect for turbine generators.
For the construction of the Solar Star Power Plant, the largest solar energy powered facility on the planet, has prepared solutions for the challenges that they may face with this project. With the amount of water they need to use for the cleaning processes of the facility, the plant has installed an automatic cleaning process that uses about 90% less water. It is also automatic, with about four times faster mechanism compared to the manual method of cleaning. The plant also supports the clean air energy. Since solar power plants do not have emissions on air, the full operation of the Solar Star Power Plant is said to displace about 570,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide. This is equivalent to about 108,000 cars taken off the road. Furthermore, the agricultural land that is disturbed during the preparation of the land has been restored. The land has been fully seeded for the land to experience regrowth of vegetation. With the plants present in the site, there is a high potential for the reduction of dusts in the project sites.
There is a high potential for the economic value of solar energy power plants. If there would be a shifting of energy resource of the world to solar energy, the use of fossil fuel would greatly decrease. This could mean lesser spending for the importation of fossil fuels especially to the countries that rely on the Middle East for oil. Most of the developing countries struggle for their yearly consumption (and purchase) of fossil fuel they use for their energy power plants. They are then forced to buy these oil at a higher price. In cases when they would shift to renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, then their need for fossil fuels would surely decrease. They can then use the money for other important national expenses.
The construction, installation, and operation of solar energy power plants can provide jobs to the people. The construction of the power plant especially for large scale projects requires a lot of human resource to finish the project. Likewise, in the operation of the power plant, there is a need for an additional people source that would operate and maintain the facilities. This is a good venue for work security of the people. As a result, more people would gain job opportunity and security. Solar energy power plants contribute to the improvement of the quality of life and help the economy of the country as a whole. In the construction of the Solar Star Power Plant, there were about 650 jobs that were created. In this way, the plant has a high impact to the economy of the country and resolves a national problem by reducing the number of unemployment.
Solar Star is the largest solar energy power plant. There are many benefits that solar energy power plants offer. This renewable energy offers a high potential for savings, optimum energy production, and environmental sustainability. With the many benefits it offers, it is expected that more solar energy power plants would be built.