Humanity has always needed energy for work, and for much of history, this energy was derived from human and animal labor. Blacksmiths made tools and weapons, and oxen and horses plowed fields and towed wagons and carts. By the 1800s, the Industrial Revolution changed that, and steam power became the standard, powering factories and ships alike with pressurized steam to turn turbines. By the late 1800s, electricity emerged and became widespread due to the effort of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, and electricity continued well into the 20th century. It was joined by nuclear power as steam power was being scaled back, and by the 21st century, clean energy such as solar energy and wind power emerged as well. The fossil fuel industry, such as with its huge power plants, has come under some criticism for its heavy pollution of the atmosphere and natural world, so solar panels, wind farms, hydroelectric dams, and other infrastructure has arrived to provide pollution-free power. This also creates jobs such as developing, installing, and repairing solar panels.
The Power of Solar
An oil patch may run dry or a coal seam may be exhausted after some time, but solar energy will never run out. The sun has an extremely long life span, and is expected to shine for another five billion years. Such a lifetime on a astronomic scale is effectively indefinite for today’s intents and purposes, and this allows the sun to power humanity’s needs for many years to come, on any scale. The sun can’t be mined out, and its power is vast. In fact, at any given moment, much more solar power flows across the Earth than is used in the whole of human industry, and this allows the sun to power any energy needs on any scale. This enormous resource is collected when solar panels are constructed and set up, often in dry and cloud-free areas to maximize exposure. Many of the world’s grasslands, deserts, and other dry areas have vast solar arrays in them, collecting all of this power. Solar energy excites the electrons inside these panels, creating electricity with no by-products whatsoever. This makes solar power popular for the “go green” initiative, since humanity needs power and can’t afford to simply shut down all fossil fuel power plants to block emissions. Instead, solar power takes its place.
The Industry of Solar Power
Solar panel installation and repairing solar panels are some of the jobs created by this developing field, and ever since the late 1970s, solar panels have been in use. It may be noted that solar panels used to be a very expensive, experimental technology, but prices have rapidly dropped at the same time as improving efficiency. This makes solar panels ever more efficient and practical for meeting energy needs, and this is making for a vast industry today. Already, repairing solar panels, installing them, and developing them employs more Americans than the fossil fuel industry does, and repairing solar panels or installing them may pay fairly well.
This trend may continue well into the future, and a number of nations in the world today intend to make the most of it. Many European nations such as Ireland, England, Germany, and others have pledge to derive certain percentages of their power entirely from renewable sources such as solar and wind power, shutting down most or even all of their fossil fuel plants in the meantime. This has allowed Europe to lead the way in the “go green” initiative. The United States, which is one of the world’s largest air polluters along with China and India, has not make a federal pledge for solar power usage, but instead, many states or cities are doing this independently. In sun-drenched states such as California and Texas, many solar panel arrays are already built and many more are being planned, both on building roofs and as large arrays in the wilderness. Many individual homes have their own solar panels for the home’s needs, and entire neighborhoods or small towns may be powered by large arrays out in the scrubland or desert near communities. Thousands of panels can be found in such arrays, collecting solar energy on an industrial scale to meet energy needs for American communities across the nation.