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This paper is based on the environmental sustainability and the role of solar energy in environmental sustainability. Maintaining the qualities such as human life, clean water and suitable climate that are valued in the atmosphere is termed as environmental sustainability. There are various resources and factors, which contribute directly or indirectly in maintaining the quality of environment. The various aspects of environment that produce renewable resources are water, solar energy and timber. In this present scenario, most people want to maintain the capabilities inherent in the natural environment to sustain the conditions of living and the beauty of environment (What is Environmental Sustainability, 2006).
Thesis Statement: Eminent role of solar energy towards the establishment of environmental sustainability.
Solar energy plays a significant role in sustaining the environment, as it is the most valuable and environmental friendly source of energy. It is the utilization of radiant energy from the sun. Solar distillation and disinfection are the most common techniques used for the purpose of producing potable water. It also supplies energy for cooking, drying and pasteurization. Solar energy is an effective technique, which maintains the quality of environment by different mechanisms such as solar thermal, solar lightening, agriculture& horticulture and architecture & urban planning. It uses secondary sources of energy along with solar radiation such as wind and wave power, biomass and hydroelectricity, which produce renewable energy (Environmental Sustainability, 2008). Thermal mass is primarily used for the purpose of conserving the heat of the sun. It is the increasingly used source of energy generation because of its economic feasibility. Apart from this, solar energy has various advantages such as it is environmental friendly and more easily accessible technique in comparison to other techniques of energy generation. It provides various technologies for heat generation and collection, which proves its importance in environmental sustainability (What is Solar Energy, 2005).
Support to the argument
Solar energy is the most effective source of producning energy and plays an important role in environmental sustaining. This can be explained by the help of five elements:
Economoicall feasibility: It is a more feasible economic source in copmrison to other sources of energy producing, as it is cost effective(in the case of greenhouse) and technologically advanced( in the case of solar lighting ).
Environmental friendly: It is an envrinmental friendly source as most of the solar electricirty generated vehicles produce no emissions. In this way, they are non pollutant and safe for the people.
Non cosumptive source: The radiation of sun is a limitless resource of energy, so it does not require any destrucive process, which is another advantage of this technique.
Security and distribution: The prices of solar electricity, which is produced through photovaltaic cells does not flactuate with the supply pattrens, so it is the best source of energy generation. The distribution cost is less in case of solar electricity, which is produced by the technology of solar energy. This is another positive approach of using solar enegry in environmental sustainability.
Save energy and other resources: Solar energy also assists the people in saving energy and other valuabl resources by solar lighting and thermal mass. Thus, it helps in maintaining environmental sustainability.
Apart from the above mentioned elements, many other arguments favoring it describe that solar energy is the vital source of producing energy for millions of people through the utilization of different technologies. Solar technologies are widely used in day to day practices and also offer various benefits, which in turn assist in sustaining the environment.
Architecture and urban planning: Solar energy assists the architectures in designing of building, as it includes many aspects such as thermal mass, shading and sun orientation. Apart from this, it is also helpful in effective urban planning (Vlek & Steg, 2007).
Solar lighting: Solar energy implements the concept of day lighting in the interiors of many buildings, which reduces the need for artificial lighting. Hybrid solar lighting is another concept, which is used to provide illumination.
Source: New York Times
Heating cooling and ventilation: Solar energy reduces the use of artificial methods involved in heating, cooling and ventilation by implementing the use of thermal mass. Solar chimneys are increasingly used to offset the significant part of energy used by other methods.
Solar disinfection and distillation: Solar disinfection is used to produce water purifier and considered to be as the viable and safe source of household treatment. Solar distillation is the mechanism of producing potable water from the saline water through the help of solar energy and is considered the most economical source of producing water (Stipanuk, 2006).
Agriculture and horticulture: Solar energy technologies assist in growing fruit walls and vegetables in an effective manner by using the solar energy. The concept of greenhouse is also used increasingly as it saves the solar heat.
Water heating: This system is used to heat water by using sunlight and considerd as an effective method as it is an eco-friendly system.
Solar energy offers various advantages of using it at broad level but there are some limitations of using it, which reject the concept of using solar energy in the energy production.
Expensive source: Solar energy is useful when the sun shines but in the course of night these expensive solar equipemnts are useless. It is the drawback of using the solar energy for generating electricity and heat.
Location: It is another disadvantage of using solar nergy in electricity generation, as solar equipements require large areas for installation, hence if the area is limited, it will create problems (Disadvantages of Solar Energy, 2008).
Dilution: As solar energy is diluted, it requires a lot of solar collectors for the purpose of storing solar energy effectively. Solar collectors are expensive and need a heavy mainatanance for proper functioning. So, the return on investment is also maximum in comprison to other resources, which generate electricity for environmental sustainability.
So these are the disadvantages of using solar energy in generating electricity and these forms the basis of not using it as the source of energy, as in the shortage of energy resources, it becomes price competitive source in comparison to other sourecs (Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy, 2008).
On the basis of above discussion on the role of solar energy in environmantal sustainability, it is concluded that it is worthy enough to implement the concept of solar energy in electricity generation. Solar energy is an important source of electricity generation, as it saves the cost included in other sources of electricity generation. It is an evironmental friendly technique, as the solar vehicles are eco-friendly and do not emmit pollutant substances in the atmosphere. It is also an economically viable source, as it uses technological advanced insturments in electricity generation. It is also an cost effective source, as there is no distribution cost involved in its distribution. Water heating through the use of solar energy teachnology is also an effective method because it saves the environment from pollution. All of these statements with regard to solar energy prove its increasing use in present scenario. Hence, solar enegry is useful in environmental sustainability in an effective manner.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy. (2008). Retrieved July 25, 2008 http://www.buzzle.com/articles/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-solar-energy.html
Disadvantages of Solar Energy. (2008). Retrieved July 25, 2008 from http://www.clean-energy-ideas.com/articles/disadvantages_of_solar_energy.html
Environmental Sustainability. (2008). Retrieved July 25, 2008 from http://www.cgg.wa.gov.au/Council/Consultation/Plan_for_the_Future/Environmental_Sustainability.asp
Stipanuk, D.M. (2006). Hospitility Facilities Managemnet And Design (3rd edition). Texas: Culinary and Hospitality Industry Publications Services.
Vlek, C. & Steg, L. (2007). Human Behavior and Environmental Sustainability. USA: Blackwell Publishing.
What is Environmental Sustainability. (2006). Retrieved July 25, 2008 from http://www.ces.vic.gov.au/CES/wcmn301.nsf/childdocs/-441BB07721D61152CA256F250028C5FB?open
What is Solar Energy. (2005). Retrieved July 25, 2008 from http://www.prometheus.org/research/whatissolar
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