In the event of a natural disaster or terror attack, you would want to be able to rely on an energy source that is reliable and won’t be affected by the event itself. The sun is a reliable energy source that produces energy regardless of the time of day or sky conditions, so it would seem obvious that it would be a perfect choice for such emergencies.
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to relying on solar energy in such desperate situations. The most obvious problem is that the sun isn’t always visible, so you won’t always be able to rely on it to provide light.
In addition, the energy generated by the sun is significantly less than what you would typically get from a conventional power source, such as coal or nuclear power. This means that in order to be able to operate at all, you would have to either collect a massive amount of solar energy or find a way to store it, both of which present huge challenges. Finally, the cost of operating a solar-powered facility in such an emergency environment is likely to be significant, putting a huge dent in any available funds.
Why Don’t We Have More Solar-Powered Facilities?
The obvious answer is that we haven’t really tried. While small communities have successfully incorporated solar power into their infrastructure and economies, larger corporations and government agencies have typically opted for more conventional power sources.
There are, however, a few notable exceptions to this rule. For example, the largest hospital in Japan, the Tokyo Medical Center, recently switched to 100% green energy, opting out of the traditional electrical grid and generating all of their required power from solar panels.
Other large organizations, such as Google and Amazon, have also started incorporating solar power into their infrastructure, with recent reports estimating that the market value of the global solar industry is currently over $26 billion.
How Can We Better Prepare For Emergencies?
It is clear that we need to do better in preparing for emergencies involving the sun. Much has already been done, with the most notable example being Florida, whose utilities commission held a series of solar power sessions with stakeholders from the electricity generation, transmission, and distribution sectors to discuss how to integrate Florida’s solar energy resources into the existing electrical infrastructure. The result was the publication of the Solar Energy Systems Integration Guide, a 400-page tome that lays out step-by-step instructions on how to effectively utilize Florida’s solar energy resources.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Yes, there is one more thing: when the sun is shining, it is usually quite sunny, so you might not always want to use it! In other words, in most situations, your solar power will be usable, but you might not want to depend on it in every situation. This is why we either need back-up power sources or power storing mechanisms, which we will discuss next.