Sun is the ultimate source of life fostering energy. Other forms of energies may be considered a transformed version of solar energy. The energy trapped inside fossil fuels are also a form of changed solar energy but it causes pollution by emitting carbon dioxide. Solar energy produced by solar panels and photovoltaic cells are considered to be the cleanest form of energy that we can use. It is true that solar energy is cleaner than fossil fuels as it does not create as much pollution as them.
The production procedure of usable solar energy does not emit harmful gases like the combustion of fossil fuels do. However, at the same time production of photovoltaic cells remain under doubt and needs closer scrutiny. The companies that manufacture photovoltaic cells or solar panels are often not cautious about the chemicals used and the pollution they cause.
The solar panels are made of two layers of metals or glass and between them, there is a layer of semi-conductor materials. Generally, CIGS or a combination of copper, gallium, indium and selenium are used as semi-conductor. The sunrays go through these three layers for being transformed into usable energy. The cost of production and installation increases with the efficiency of the solar cells. Either money is wasted on superior technology or the excess energy is wasted.
Manufacturing solar panels is not a sustainable process because it causes pollution. To collect silicon from sands and rocks large amount of heat is necessary. Setting up production plants and factories for manufacturing solar panels also cause pollution. Carbon and methanol used for making solar panels are also damaging for the environment.
At the same time the better benefits of solar energy compared with all other alternative energy resources cannot be denied. It is almost impossible to generate energy without emitting some amount of carbon dioxide. Even to stay alive we have to breathe out carbon dioxide and that cannot be helped.
Solar panels have a longer lifespan. They can work for 30 years with little maintenance. Aging solar panels do not cause a massive pollution threat that aging machinery in a conventional power plant would. The initial investment that consumers make for installing solar panels is returned to them in 20 years. The users of solar panels are also able to effectively reduce their carbon footprint.
Solar energy is a greener source of energy compared to our conventional means. If the manufacturing techniques evolve then solar energy will be the cleanest form of energy on planet earth.