Is Solar Energy the Next Big Thing?

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not represent the views of Her Campus FSU. 

I know the topic of the world’s energy consumption probably doesn’t cross your mind every day, but maybe you’re a crunchy granola environmentalist like I am and are actually very concerned with the current state of our energy production. I recently watched the movie, Gasland, which actually kind of changed my life (I would def recommend!). Basically, it’s a film documentary that explains how fracking, the unnatural process of extracting oil from the ground, is making people extremely sick with cancer and other deadly diseases because of toxic chemicals contaminating their environment. WOAH! That is intense. The only reason the gas companies are putting communities at risk is that they make a butt ton of money off of it and it doesn’t affect them. They don’t have to drink water that is so toxic that it literally catches on fire (not kidding…) so why should they care what happens to other people?

Courtesy: StateImpact

Obviously, this is a horrible way of thinking and it kind of makes me furious. These selfish Grinches would rather be able to buy a Bentley and cause harm to local communities than drive a Toyota and treat the environment with respect. Anyways, Saudi Arabia must have had this exact thought so they are trying to do something about it! Unfortunately, they aren’t completely destroying the oil industry like I would want them to, but they are attempting to change where we obtain our energy from by using the most obvious source of all: the Sun.

They are creating the largest energy project of all time, one that will create 200 gigawatts of energy by 2030. In case you aren’t an electrical engineer, that basically means that Saudi Arabia itself will create half the amount solar energy that the world produces right now (btw that’s a lot of energy). This country is also a part of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which means they are expected to make significant efforts to help the earth recover from the stress we have plagued it with. The United Nations specifies the goals: “the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.”

The project is expected to cost around $200 billion in total so I doubt my minimum wage job could contribute any significant amount that would help. BUT, that is where the cool part comes in. The project will fund itself as they start building! With every new phase, the energy it creates will make money that will help pay for the project.

Now you may possibly be wondering why in the world hasn’t the United States thought of this brilliant idea?! Well, like I said before, business people in this country are all about the Benjamins. They will continue to use and pollute our natural resources until all the oil possible to be extracted is gone and they make as much money as they possibly can. Then maybe, possibly, hopefully they might consider taking advantage of renewable resources for energy. But, this is a big step people! YGG Saudi Arabia!