For many years, advocates for solar power have used the slogan “saving the planet one house at a time.” The concept behind this saying is that one day, solar energy could provide all of the world’s energy needs. While that may be far from reality now, the potential of solar energy to power our homes is undeniable. With the appropriate solar energy system, even the smallest houses can generate their own power and become completely independent of the utility companies.
All Electricity Comes From The Sun
True enough, but only in the same way that water can be said to “evolve” oxygen when exposed to the Sun’s ultraviolet rays. Photovoltaic solar panels are sensitive to rays from the Sun and can convert them into electricity. However, that does not mean that all electricity comes from the Sun. In fact, there are various other sources of electricity that can be used around the home to generate power. For example, solar thermal power plants use the energy from the Sun to heat liquid which is then used to power a generator. The electricity this way is known as “distributed solar thermal power.”
Energy From The Sun Can Be Transferred To Any Location
This is also true. Thanks to today’s technologies, systems can be set up to collect and store energy from the Sun. That way, households can have power available whenever they want it. This is in stark contrast to how most people get electricity now, which is via a utility company. While having your own power supply can be convenient, it also creates new challenges. For example, how do you charge your devices when there is no common power outlet at home?
All Electricity Will Be Needed For Future Energy Needs
This too is true. All of the electricity that we use now will be needed for future energy needs. Whether it’s for electronic devices, water heaters, space heaters or air-conditioning systems, eventually these devices will all need power to operate. The only way to provide for our energy needs is by finding a way to generate more power. This is why all efforts to limit our dependence on fossil fuel and reduce our carbon footprint should be made. Solar energy is a clean source of power which is free from carbon emissions. That makes it ideal for the future.
Solar Energy Is Not Mainly Limited To Providing For Small Households
If we look at the global marketplace, we can see that solar energy is being used to power large homes, as well. While large-scale solar plants tend to focus on power generation, smaller systems can be used to provide energy for smaller devices. For example, back in 2011, SunRun, a California-based company, was selling solar-powered water heaters that provide a few hundred watts of power to appliances such as kettles and ice makers. In some developed countries, even larger systems are used to supply power to entire neighborhoods or cities.
Solar Energy Systems Are Expensive
This one too is true. While there are ways to generate electricity more cheaply, the use of solar energy does come with a price. The components are not inexpensive, and the installation costs are usually high. The good news is that over time, the costs of solar energy systems are generally declining, at least in theory. This is mainly because of the increased use of computer-aided design and manufacturing which makes large-scale solar energy generation less expensive. When you compare the costs of generating and storing energy with conventional methods, such as fossil fuels, the price of solar becomes more apparent.
Solar Energy Systems Can Be Complex
Another downside to solar energy systems is that they can be complicated. There are many different ways in which a home can be configured to utilize solar power, and each setup is a little different. For example, if you have a large lot and you want to generate power using solar panels, you may need to purchase an array of solar panels which connect in series to provide the desired amount of electricity. Then, you need to learn how to read and understand energy meters so that you can properly monitor and maintain the installation. Finally, you will need to purchase components for storing that energy (batteries, inverters, etc.). As a result, setting up a solar power system can feel overwhelming and intimidating to a beginner. Some have questioned why anyone would want to go through all of that when they can just go to the store and buy a power system already set up for use.
Solar Energy Systems Are Not Always Easy To Maintain
This one too is true. Just like any other device or piece of machinery, solar energy systems need to be maintained and repaired. In some cases, this can be a daunting task. The good news is that there are now companies that specialize in providing parts and service for solar energy systems. This makes it much easier for homeowners to maintain their systems and keep them operating at their peak performance. It also helps to limit the amount of down time incurred because of outages. In general, maintaining a solar energy system is mostly a matter of regular cleaning and replacing of gaskets, which are the small circles inside air-conditioning and heating system that help regulate temperature and prevent leaks.
In summary, there are many benefits to having a solar energy system in your home or business. The main benefit is that you have your own clean and free energy supply, which you can use to power numerous devices. This is a stark contrast to what we have now, where our main source of electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels and causing harmful carbon emissions. In the future, as technology continues to advance, renewable energy sources such as solar will continue to play a larger role in our energy mix. At least, that is, until we find another energy source that is better suited to power our civilization.