Why aren't solar and wind power used as the main source of energy in America?
I never really understood why this would even have to be asked. The sun is free and has almost unlimited energy potential. For that matter, why do solar panels cost so much? Is is just because they are not commonly made? If everyone had solar panels on their own homes, it would significantly decrease the amount of energy that needs to be produced by power companies.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
There are small areas, in America, where solar and wind power are used. At the moment, it is far too expensive for the average consumer to convert to solar energy. The power companies don't want to lose the big money they get from the status quo. They lobby corrupt individuals, within our government, to keep their "gravy train" moving on its track. Money. It all comes down to money.
- BobLv 71 decade ago
They cost more than other forms of energy.
Solar panels are hard to make. They involve precise chemical structures to be eficient at converting sunlight to electricity.
For a given amout of power, it's cheaper to build a coal boiler and a steam turbine/generator than a wind powered generator.
Solar and wind are getting cheaper, while fossil fuels are getting more expensive. Global warming is becoming a threat to be extremely costly. Some people are willing to pay more for cleaner energy.
So we'll gradually replace fossil fuel plants with solar and wind (and also nuclear). Solar and wind are also used right now in areas where it would cost a lot of money to run power lines from a big power plant.
But it's not some evil conspiracy at work, just the fact that they cost more money.
- PatriciaLv 44 years ago
No, I don't think so. Windmills and Geothermal heat have vast unmeasured potentionl. It may be they will each provide about a third of all the world energy needs. Barge mounted Windmills are already being tested, the ocean anchor details are being developed, most nations have access to the oceans. This source will become very big, very soon. Use of the electricity to produce Hydrogen, by electrolysis, will greatly increase its use. All nations will want to participate. Geothermal has one danger, in Colorado and Russia they found that extracting steam, in a few sites, led to earthquakes. In time, they will learn to identify the danger and drill holes in stable plates. Solar is growing rapidly with the use of thousands of mirrors to focus on an elevated boiler. They are now very big and rapidly growing in the Mojave Desert. Like weeds? Bad pun!. A desalination plant driven by solar thermal units is a natural. It will solve California water problems.
- novangelisLv 71 decade ago
It would take a lot of money that woulf go to waste. From Northern California to Washington (a temperate rain forest), there would be too many rainy days. Roof top solar cells in Florida (where sunlight is plentiful) would be subject to hurricane damage. For most of the country, you would never recoup the cost of the solar panels. If the price of electricty increases, this may no longer hold true.
Wind power is noisy and, in most places, unreliable. How many trees should be cut down to make room of wind turbines?
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- 1 decade ago
Why America and why not other countries. For that matter - sun is bright in Gulf - why not there. Well there is a technological problem in this. The space required for the solar panels to capture the sunlight to convert into electricity is huge and hence would need lots of open space which is not practical.
- foogillLv 41 decade ago
Coals free, you just have to dig it up, solar's free you just have to put the infrastructure in. 70-80% of the power in the grid is the base load and is topped up. Solar and wind is good for topping up but no good if the sun sets or the wind dies.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Because not ever place have high windspeed all the time that cause the turbine to spin. Solar Panels are expensive and doesn't work well in places that aren't sunny.
- 1 decade ago
its because the entire government want us to be reliant of foreign oil the addiction is like crack to those in office i am sure they get a cut of OPEC take at some level, remember when jimmy carter was prez he said in an address that this country would never again be so reliant of foreign oil but not 27 years later we use 68% more then we did then, oh that's right we might displace a bird if we drill in Colorado or Alaska did you know that there is more oil in Colorado then there is in the entire Mideast its true but environmentalists and stupid congressmen have kept us from drilling we could or should have gas prices under 1.00 a gallon but well big oil and senators want there cut plus they want to keep average Joe poor
- wolschouLv 61 decade ago
one, neither solar nor windpower, nor both of them combined can come even close to fulfill the powerdemands of any modern economy, much less the american, where powersaving is still a misunderstood enigma...
two, both are unreliable and unpredictable... there is no way to forecast the wind and much less the exact clouding over a specific piece of land.
three... most people dont want solar panels, and much less windmills in their area... they find them disfiguring the scenery...
sad but true.
- IsisLv 71 decade ago
You are so right. The only problem is that our government is addicted to the money it gets from special interests that don't want us to follow your clear and obvious logic. We, the people, are going to have to rise up and demand this kind of action before it is too late. Our Earth is dramatically declining and we must do something in spite of the politicians.