Friday, April 15, 2011

What Beginners Should Know About Environmental Pollution Problems and the Role of Solar Power?

It is wise that beginners know the background of the worsening pollution problem. Prevention and control have been the talk for a number of years now. The growing awareness was due to observations that something wrong traceable to pollution was happening to our planet with the identified perpetrators as the inhabitants themselves.

To this effect, conferences were held and papers were discussed in symposium, all seemingly sound solution to the problem at hand. But what do the environmentalists and pollution experts say? What is the score?

Background of pollution problem:

Ever since the cave man began using his hand to meet his needs, he started throwing waste around without a care in the world. The carcasses and skin of animals he slew for food are left to decay producing fowl odor for days. It was the time when land and water were considered large enough to dilute anything human beings could collectively throw at it.

Little did man know that this was the start of his pollution practices carried up to this day in more sophisticated ways? As to the present pollution problem, the modern man was no different from the cave man in practice – he doesn't bother with the problem until it becomes serious, then starts fixing it.

This is what we are doing now: fixing the pollution problem we started years ago and continuing up to the present. What are these serious pollution problems?

Pollution is everywhere. They are manifested in many forms the most serious of which is its deleterious effects on our climate. It is present in many forms.

1. Carbon dioxide that causes climate change resulting in changes in rainfall pattern worldwide bringing about flood, typhoons, hurricanes and other destructive weather disturbances to mention a few. The most visible sources of this are the million running cars, factories and power plants

2. CFCs and methane that destroy the protective ozone layer, sulfur dioxide that causes acid rain contaminating our soil with harmful chemicals and smog.

3. All the other chemicals that contribute to respiratory ailments and cancers.

4. Pollution is also found in the soil, deposited as it falls from the air and lingering for decades after being applied to croplands or washed into the silt of riverbeds.

5. We see pollution in the water, in the form of raw discharge from factories and sewage plants.

Having identified these pollution problems, where does solar come in?

1. Clean renewable energy accounts for almost 3% of the power used worldwide with less than 1% coming from solar. This can hardly offset the other sources of pollution. But it holds a good promise and for this reason the use of renewable power is one of the main thrusts of developed countries. Solar home system can significantly lower reliance on fossil electricity, one of the sources of pollution.

2. Photovoltaic (PV) technologies generate direct current (DC) electricity through the action of sunlight falling on semiconductor surface. The electricity thus produced can be used to power a wide variety of pollution prevention and environmental restoration applications.

a. Solar powered sensors are widely used to sample water and air in facilities such as chemical plants, refineries and oil storage terminals and to detect releases of toxic substances.

b. It is also used to power mobile leak detectors along gas and oil pipelines.

c. Solar energy is frequently used to provide power for restoration tools, such as filters or skimmers, which remove oil, fuel and other hydrocarbons from groundwater.

d. The PV Calculator is a tool to help determine the variable costs and benefits of installing a solar power system at home or business. You can estimate how much pollution you could prevent with your use of solar energy.

Is the measure in place effective in controlling environmental pollution?

The Kyoto Protocol is a treaty negotiated in December 1997 at the city of Kyoto, Japan and came into force February 16th, 2005. The goal is to lower overall emissions from six greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs.

The view that human activities are likely responsible for most of the observed increase in global mean temperature ("global warming") since the mid-20th century is an accurate reflection of current scientific thinking. Developed nations have contributed most to the concentrations of greenhouse gas (GHG) in the atmosphere.

World Bank commented that the Kyoto Protocol had only a slight effect on curbing global emissions growth. The treaty was negotiated in 1997, but by 2005, energy-related emissions had grown 24%.

Under the present situation, the field of renewable energy sources becomes the sole ray of hope for mankind. There is no way we can bring down the demand of energy as the consumer markets are destined to rise with time. The only alternative is to look for sources of energy that can supplant the conventional means which uses fossil fuels.

We invite you to visit our Informative Solar Article page for more practical tips, simplified application guide and established solar benefits.

Author’s Box
Jacinto Demonteverde, Jr., the owner, is a strong advocate of solar power adoption. He writes practical articles to keep established and prospective solar users well informed. Visit him at: You are welcome to republish or reprint this article free of charge provided the content remains unchanged including the Author’s Box. No permission is needed


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