Can Solar Power Replace Oil Consumption?

The energy debate often involves people taking such passionate positions that they talk past each other and really miss some rather obvious facts. This is very much the case when it comes to the debate of whether solar power can replace oil consumption in our modern society.

The oil versus solar power debate is mostly a red herring argument. The primary problem is these two energy platforms are, for the most part, in different areas of the energy argument. Put another way, we are talking about an apples and oranges argument. Let's take a closer look.
Solar power primarily provides two types of energy. The first is electricity and the second is water heating. Solar panel systems are used to generate either of these forms of energy. There are larger commercial scale power plants based on solar energy, but they are few and far between.

Most people don't realize how many different ways oil is used in modern society. It is a part of the chemical composition of pesticides, plastics, roads and so on. As a burnable energy source, it is primarily refined to create fuel for vehicles. These range from your average family car to jumbo jets flying around the world.

The problem with the solar versus oil argument should be obvious. Solar will never replace gasoline and gasoline is not used as a fuel source to generate electricity in all but a few power plants. Coal is by far the most common fuel used to generate electricity. Solar might replace it one day, but that is an entirely different argument.
Okay, what about solar cars? They are a nice idea, but we currently do not have the technology to make them happen nor will we for decades into the future. The modern solar panel is simply not up to the task nor is current battery technology.

The next time you hear the solar power versus oil heat up, you might want to mention the inherent problem with the debate. Then again, maybe not!
Thomas Ajava writes about solar energy for

By Thomas_Ajava
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1 comment:

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