Harvesting the Sun

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As we usher in a new wave of technology, we are able to find ways to integrate it into our daily lives. With wind farms and composting buckets being distributed across New York City, researchers are starting to look to solar energy as the newest innovation. Instead of fields of green, we may be seeing fields of solar panels as far as the eye can see.

Solar energy plants have been appearing all across California. Solar panel farms are stretches of land, mostly unable to be used for crops, that have solar panels planted across them. This new form of green energy could soon be the future of America’s energy source. Sophomore Kavita Shivram reflected, “[Solar panels] are very beneficial to the environment especially because it utilizes the sun, which is a renewable resource.” The capabilities of these solar energy farms range from powering the surrounding community to being able to power one-third of the nation’s homes.

The energy collected by the solar panels are sold to electricity companies for profit.  The electricity is then sold back to the general population. This trend is rising as we see more inclement and anomalous weather conditions that are rendering farmland “unusable.” While solar energy has potential as an energy output, we also see it as a worthwhile economic endeavor.

Senior Wardah Javid commented, “Solar power helps create employment opportunities which will lower the unemployment rates.” The building, installing, and monitoring of these farms would open new job opportunities to many and prompt trades schools to include solar energy as a viable option.

The applicability of solar energy in places such as California has been called into question. States like California, Arizona, and New Mexico receive the most sun and thus, it would be reasonable to build solar farms there. However, states like New York and others in the Northeast region do not receive the same level of sunlight that other regions do. The likelihood for this model to be applied in other regions seems dim; however, smaller scale versions of solar panel farms have made their way across the United States, with homeowners taking it upon themselves to collect solar energy. If this is scaled appropriately and placed in the right areas, the entire country could be powered on solar energy.