During the past decades, the cost of traditional energy sources such as oil and coal has increased significantly. Not only has this made the cost of living soar, but it has also created a gap between the cost of traditional fuels and the cost of renewable energy sources.
With the gap widening, more and more people are looking for alternatives to fossil fuels and are turning to renewable energy sources (mostly in the form of solar power) to fuel their day-to-day lives. However, since solar power is such a new energy source for many people, they may not understand all the aspects of incorporating solar power into their homes.
So, it’s important to understand the differences between solar power and other forms of renewable energy to ensure that you make the right decision for your home.
What Is Solar Power?
For those who don’t know, solar power is the ability of the Sun to create electricity using solar panels that transform sunlight into electricity. It’s a form of renewable energy that’s clean and environmentally friendly.
While solar power can vary from small scale (e.g. a small solar cell that provides enough energy to run a coffee maker or small appliance) to large-scale (e.g. a solar farm that supplies enough energy to power a city), the form typically used in homes is solar panels. These panels are most often installed on the roof, and they transform sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic (PV) technology – i.e. the ability of a material to generate electricity when exposed to light (in this case, sunlight).
When Do You Use Solar Power?
You can use solar power at any time of day, as long as there’s sunlight. However, since most people get their electricity needs during the day, when the Sun is out, you’re better off harvesting solar power than not. That way, you’ll be able to have electricity at night when you need it (e.g. to power electronics or appliances) and during the day, when the Sun is strong (e.g. to power your daily activities).
Additionally, if you live in an area where energy is expensive (e.g. England), you may want to consider installing solar power, as it can help reduce your electricity bills.
Is Solar Power Necessary?
While it’s great to have more environmentally friendly energy sources available, if you’re looking for a way to save money, you may not need to incorporate solar power into your home. That is, unless you have a very large family and you want to ensure that everyone has their own power source (e.g. a night-light for the kids’ room). In that case, solar power may be your cheapest and most eco-friendly option.
But if cost is no object and you want the maximum amount of electricity generated, you may want to consider installing solar power. In that case, it’s almost like buying a power generator at least.
How Do You Install Solar Power?
Depending on the scale of your home, you may want to hire an expert to help you install solar power. For larger homes, this may mean getting a solar contractor who can design and build the system according to your needs. They will also help you choose the right sized system for your house and connect all the various power sources (e.g. the Sun, the grid, and appliances).
Additionally, the expert may want to suggest different panels or designs for your roof based on the amount of sunlight you receive. While it’s great to have more options, the truth is not all solar contractors are created equal, and you may end up with an overpriced system that doesn’t provide the value that you expect.
How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Power?
The cost of installing solar power will depend on several factors, including:
- How big is your roof?
- How many solar panels do you need?
- How old are your appliances?
- How much do you want to spend?
The answers to these questions will determine how much you’ll need to pay, either up-front or over a period of months/years. In some cases, you may need to pay more for the installation than the cost of the system itself. But the benefits of having solar power far outweigh the costs, and in most cases, it’s money well spent.
Who Uses It?
Just like with any other new technology, not all businesses will instantly start using solar power. Although it’s great to see so many environmentally-friendly companies in existence, the fact is not all of them will be able to derive the benefits of solar power just yet. That is, until the price gap between traditional and renewable energy sources closes.
For example, if you’re running a coffee shop and you want to be able to offer a sustainable option to your customers, you may want to look into solar power as a potential solution. But if you rely solely on patrons to generate your revenue, you may not want to invest in solar power since it’s still a fairly new technology and not all coffee shop owners will have the expertise necessary to properly install it.
When compared to traditional energy sources, solar power is a great option due to its environmental friendliness and low-cost. But just like any other new technology, not all businesses will be able to fully take advantage of its benefits just yet – especially not small-scale coffee shops who may not have the money to invest in large-scale systems.
That being said, if you live in an area where energy is expensive and you want to save as much as possible, solar power may be your cheapest and most eco-friendly option. Just make sure you’re dealing with an expert who can install it on your roof and will provide fair costs and an honest opinion about how much it will actually cost you.