Solar energy is clean energy
Even when the emissions related to solar cell manufacturing are counted, photovoltaic generation produces less than 15% of the carbon dioxide from a conventional coal-fired power plant. Using solar energy to replace the use of traditional fossil fuel energy sources can prevent the release of pollutants into the atmosphere. Using solar energy to supply a million homes with energy would reduce CO2 emissions by 4.3 million tons per year, the equivalent of removing 850,000 cars from the road.
Solar energy uses fewer natural resources than conventional energy sources. Using energy from sunlight can replace the use of stored energy in natural resources such as petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Fossil fuel extraction can use drilling and mining techniques that leave land undesirable for other uses after the energy source has been removed. Photovoltaic (PV) panels can be integrated into building surfaces for the production of power, eliminating additional land use. For example, the 100,000 square foot roof of a typical discount retailer could produce more than a megawatt of solar electricity.
Solar energy systems need less space to produce a megawatt of electricity than coal-fired power when the land devoted to mining is factored in. No land is required when solar systems are integrated into buildings.
Solar energy is a renewable resource. Some scientists and industry experts estimate that renewable energy sources, such as solar, can supply up to half of the world's energy demand in the next 50 years, even as energy needs continue to grow. To avoid an energy crisis, we need to begin shifting our energy reliance away from our finite supply of fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources such as solar.
Enough sunlight reaches the earth's surface every year to produce approximately 1,000 times the amount of energy produced by burning all fossil fuels mined and extracted during the same time period. If this energy is effectively captured, it could meet human energy needs indefinitely.
In summary, solar energy is a smart energy choice.
At 6.4 quadrillion Btu (quads) in 1999, Ukraine's energy consumption accounts for 1.7% of the world's total. In 1998, the country's vast industrial sector accounted for a disproportionate 61% share of the country's total, with residential standing at 16%, transportation at 14%, and commercial 9%. In 1999, natural gas consumption represented the largest percentage of energy consumption at 44%, with coal and oil at 30% and 11.8%, respectively .Looking at recent trends, Ukraine has followed a continual pattern of reduced energy consumption. Since 1992, Ukraine energy consumption has dropped from 8.86 quads to 6.43 quads in 1999--a 27% drop. This figure is even more impressive when compared to Ukraine's neighbours that are also in transition to market economies. Only Russia, which saw a 25% decrease (from 34.9 quads to 26.0 quads), experienced a similar pattern. Unfortunately, much of the reduced energy consumption in Ukraine is due not to energy saving or energy efficiency but rather to the collapse in industrial production because of the contraction of the economy. As a non-Annex I country under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol in 1999, Ukraine has agreed to stabilize its emissions of greenhouse gases at 1990 levels by 2008-2012. Since Ukraine's emissions are already more than 30% below 1990 levels, Ukraine has the potential to play a major role in climate change negotiations.
In terms of energy consumption per dollar of GDP, Ukraine ranks as one of the most energy-intensive countries in the world because of its inefficient, Soviet-era industries. Ukraine's energy intensity in 1999 at 101.3 thousand Btu/$1990 was more than 8 times that of the United States (12.6 thousand Btu/$1990) and more than 15 times that of Japan (6.5 thousand Btu/$1990). Even more telling is the fact that Ukraine's energy intensity is considerably higher than any of its fellow transition neighbours--including Russia. In 1999, Poland's energy intensity was 28.6 thousand Btu/$1990, Turkey's 14.9 thousand Btu/$1990, Romania's 55.1 Btu/$1990, and Russia's 72.1 thousand Btu/$1990.On the per capita level, Ukraine is more comparable to other countries in transition. Ukraine's per capita energy consumption in 1999 was 127.0 million Btu--substantially lower than the U.S. value of 288.9 million Btu, but closer to Russia (176.7 million Btu) and above Poland (99.3 million Btu), Romania (73.1 million Btu), and Turkey (45.9 million Btu). Similarly, per capita carbon emissions in Ukraine were 2.1 metric tons of carbon per person in 1999; this figure is again lower than both the United States (4.4 metric tons) and Russia (2.7 metric tons) while higher than Romania (1.1) and Turkey (0.8)The Ukrainian government has taken several concrete actions to promote lower energy consumption and better energy efficiency. The National Energy Conservation Information Network was set up to disseminate energy conservation information to the general public, and an international program with the Alliance to Save Energy is helping strengthen the role of Ukraine's nongovernmental organizations and the private sector in raising public awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency. In addition, the United States Agency for International Development, in conjunction with the World Environment сenter, is supporting 18 waste minimization/energy conservation demonstration projects at 10 enterprises located in the Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions of Ukraine. The use of renewable energy in Ukraine was one of the principal goals of the 1996 National Power Energy Program. In 1999, however, renewable energy sources represented only 8.6% of electricity generation, a figure that includes hydropower, solar, wind, tide, geothermal, solid biomass and animal products, biomass gas and liquids, and industrial and municipal wastes. This figure appears low, but it can partially be explained by the fact that the development of renewable resources in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union remains limited primarily to expansion or refurbishment of existing hydroelectric units. Indeed, the National Power Energy Program called for completion of new hydropower utilities--such as the Dnеstrovskaja hydro pumping storage station--to reduce dependence on imported energy sources. Yet, renewable energy sources are beginning to find a market in Ukraine. In the Carpathian region of the country, the Environmentally Sound Business Development project is focusing on small business development in wood processing industry to increase the efficiency of the production process by reducing timber use, waste products, and energy consumption. In addition, as part of an alternative energy source program, the Ukrainian State Geology Committee and the Ministry of Coal--along with the United States Agency for International Development, Ukrainian coal companies, and the U.S. coal bed methane industry--are working to identify opportunities to develop coal bed methane as a commercially viable alternative energy source in Ukraine. In addition, the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill in July 2001 that aims to develop alternative energy sources such as solar, and geothermal. Additionally, through the Wind Power Development Project, Ukraine seeks to establish wind power as a significant source of electricity generation by 2020. Of the renewable energy sources, only hydro power makes a significant contribution to Ukraine's electricity supply at present. About 8.7% of total installed capacity is acc