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Solar Power: Our Future or False Promises? PowerPoint Presentation
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Solar Power: Our Future or False Promises?

Solar Power: Our Future or False Promises?

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Solar Power: Our Future or False Promises?

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  1. Solar Power: Our Future or False Promises? Brian Schumacher James Dotter Matt Finnegan Carmen Hillman

  2. What is Solar Power? • In 1839 a french scientist by the name of Edmond Becquerel discovered that some materials gave off sparks of light when introduced to sunlight. • This is known as the photoelectric effect, which researchers believed could be harnessed. • Thus, the first Photovoltaic Cells were produced in the late 1800s using selenium. • Then in the 1950s the cells were introduced using silicon instead. • These cells have the ability to convert about 4% of the energy from the sunlight into electricity.

  3. Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4CTceusK9I

  4. Solar Power is the Future

  5. Economics • In recent years due to more solar power installers and financial partners, the cost of household solar systems has decreased by over 45% from 2008 to 2014. • Also, there is a federal tax credit for 30% of this initial purchase price. • In 2012, solar electric power generation had a revenue of $472.4 million. • In 2014, the U.S. solar industry had more than 170,000 employees, 6,000 companies and invest nearly $15 Billion in the U.S. economy annually.

  6. Four Factors Behind the Rise of Solar Power • Regulatory Support-Governments worldwide have enacted a range of pro-solar policies due to a desire to reduce emissions, diversify their country's' energy supplies, and create jobs. • Industrialization- Beginning around 2005, manufacturers [in China] entered the solar-panel market to chase growing global demand, and they now account for nearly two-thirds of global production of solar panels. • Technological Innovation- seen in manufacturing, low interest rates, leaner supply chains, and improved economies of scale. Solar panels have become more efficient, seeing as efficiency rates have peaked at about 20 percent- meaning that a panel is able to generate two watts of electricity for every ten watts of sunlight hitting it. • Financing-Under third party ownership systems, homeowners sign contracts with companies that install and maintain the solar panels. In return, consumers pay either a set monthly rate or a fixed price per unit of power-paying no cash out of pocket but still getting lower electricity bills.

  7. Sunshot 2030 • A program initiated by the federal government to increase the use of solar power in the U.S. • At the time of creation solar power was less than 0.1% of the U.S. electric supply, now it is up to 1%.

  8. False Promises/Drawbacks

  9. Science • Solar power is an intermittent source of energy • This can be strenuous on the original grid designs as the flow of energy can be unpredictable • On a smaller scale, this can be difficult for the average home use in times when the sun's not shining • Backup generators can be used • Greatly hike up the installation costs • Times include: At night, during winter, during cloudy periods • High-latitude areas receive very little sunshine

  10. Economics/Cost • Substantial Investment • Installation $4,000 - $15,000 • Cost of actual solar panel can range from $2,000 - $10,000 • The savings you earn by going solar can take anywhere from seven to 20 years to cover the initial cost • Trump Energy Policy- focus on other energy sources, making solar power more expensive for Americans, tariffs on solar power.

  11. Economics/ Cost con’t

  12. Assessment of False Promises • Solar energy cannot be used as a base load energy source • Initial capital costs can be extremely expensive • Energy grids must sustain the ability to easily adapt to fluctuations in energy production

  13. Conclusion Our Future When comparing the pros to the cons, we believe that the benefits outweigh the negatives and believe that solar power should be used more in the near future. Some of the pros mentioned previously can be used as solutions to the drawbacks.

  14. Question Do you think solar power is our future or not? Any other questions?

  15. Citations Bureau, US Census. “Electric Power Generation Using Renewable Energy Growing.” The United States Census Bureau, 18 Nov. 2014 Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “SunShot 2030.” Department of Energy Pinner, Dickon, and Matt Rogers. “Solar Power Comes of Age: How Harnessing the Sun Got Cheap and Practical.” Foreign Affairs, vol. 94, no. 2, Mar. 2015, pp. 111–118 Union of Concerned Scientists. “Rooftop Solar Panels: Benefits, Costs, and Smart Policies.”Rooftop Solar Panels, 2015