State supports solar with subsidies

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State supports solar with subsidies

Homes and businesses are turning to solar power.

Homes and businesses are turning to solar power.

Pixabay

Homes and businesses are turning to solar power.

Pixabay

Pixabay

Homes and businesses are turning to solar power.

Fabian Aguilar ’19, Staff Reporter

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“By 2020, the Golden State hopes to produce 12 gigawatts of electricity with clean fuel sources like wind, solar, and fuel cells. To give you an idea of the magnitude of that goal, one gigawatt of solar electricity can power 700,000 homes,” according to the website solarauthority.com.

 

Solar power is considered one of the most efficient and renewable energy resources. San Francisco receives many sunny days during the year, which is a great advantage compared to the rest of the nation, but foggy or cloudy days as well. Solar power depends on specific frequencies of sunlight unaffected by temperature.

 

“Solar Power is important because it comes from the inexhausted and high-quality energy from the Sun. I think the most important reason is that solar power is a renewable resource,” argued Michael O’Brien, AP Environmental Sciences teacher.

 

Why do we need solar power? “We don’t. We just need power. But some sources of power pollute more than others. Solar power is very clean,” responded Anthony Dunn ’82, physics teacher.

 

Solar power is not the only power that gets energy from the sun; all power comes from the sun except geothermal.

 

“Even burning coal comes from plants that lived millions of years ago. They got their energy from the sun. But when people talk about solar power, they are usually talking about solar panels,” stated Dunn.

 

Nonetheless, coal plants are dangerous, and producers of carbon emission, which contributes to Global Warming. Each year in America alone, over one million gallons of petroleum spill in waterways, oceans, and groundwater.

 

On the other hand, nuclear power plants are more efficient than solar plants, but are dangerous for the radiation they manage and can cause incidents.

 

One of the most recognized disadvantages of solar power is the costs are high compared to using electric power from common methods. For example, prices from PG&E annually are not that high at San Francisco.

 

Dunn added, “If you can get a solar panel subsidized you might pay less in the long term for your electricity than you would purchase your electricity off the grid.”

 

In regards to whether Riordan should consider solar power, O’Brien responded, “I think it will be a good thing to try in certain small areas as an experiment. Put inexpensive solar panels, tosee how much solar energy they could harness. And even that is extremely expensive. I’m certainly in favor of it. It is just a matter of is it cost-effective right now?”

 

On the contrary, the production of the solar panels produces waste as well. There is a carbon footprint in this production.

 

Apart from the pollution during panel manufacturing, solar power produces no pollution.

 

In the years to come, the price of solar power installation will be cheaper. With the climate changing, caused by the emission of gases to the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels, people are starting to take notice and preparing for a time when non- renewable resources will run out.