• Feasibility of solar panel production using renewables

      Mazzurco, Anthony (2021-12)
      The purpose of this paper is to cover a range of topics related to the current energy issue that we have at hand. It will cover the foundation of our main energy sources, if we have reached peak oil, energy economics in relation to renewable energy, the rate of consumption of energy, other bi-products of oil that we use in everyday life, and the feasibility of producing solar panels from a completely renewable energy power plant. When most people think of oil, they do not consider that it is our main source of energy that drives society. There are other energy sources that we use that include coal, other forms of oil like substances such as biodiesel, ethanol corn, and renewable energy. In the past twenty years, the growth in solar and wind technologies has grown rapidly. In order to use less fossil fuels, there has also been an increase in electric vehicles. The movement towards solar, wind, and electric vehicles may sound like a viable solution, but the embodied energy in these technologies is not emphasized enough on the engineering side. In energy economics there is a term called Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROEI, or EROI). This field of economics focuses on the amount of energy it takes to produce an energy source, and what that energy output is in relation to production. While looking into the EROEI for the more popular energy alternatives, it can be seen that solar and wind have various values of return. EROI should also be considered with electric vehicles, but there are many other variables to be considered. We are now realizing that peak oil production will be an issue, so alternative energy and transportation technologies are being focused on. One of the issues is if we use certain types of elements for these fossil fuel alternatives, we will eventually exhaust those resources as well. That being said, we should reconsider better alternatives, and reduce wasteful resource industries.