Solar power is one of the most reliable renewable energy that homes can adopt for sustainable energy.
As the natural resources set to decline in the years to come, the whole world needs to move towards sustainable renewable sources. The rise in population means the use of non-renewable energy will one day run out and factors like global warming and climate change may affect some of the renewable sources like hydro electric.
There are several uses for the solar power for the home.We find ourselves continuously using electricity in heating, cooling, powering appliances and lighting in many areas including TV, refrigerator, heat pump, freezer, water heaters, dish washers, clothe dryer and washers, and air conditioners among others. By using the roof tops to harvest the sun’s power, we can power all our equipment using solar generated electricity.
Benefits of solar energy
One of the most reliable renewable energy that homes can adopt for sustainable energy is solar power. The main benefit of solar energy is that unlike other renewable energy like wind and geothermal that requires special equipment to be installed, it can be easily put together and does not require any wires, cords or power sources to be set up.
Use of solar energy can result in a lot of savings in your electricity cost. Having an array in your home means that your electricity bill will come down drastically and as the owner, you can even the give trade excess power to the local power grid. The panels do not require new space for installation and can be installed on the rooftops, where they only require 400 square feet of the roof space to produce a kilowatt of electricity. The layout design of the panels can also be redesigned to easily get around obstructions such as chimneys, dormers, and skylights. The initial cost of the solar energy may be high, but you are assured that cost will be recovered over a period of time.
Solar power is long lasting and the panels typically come with warranties of up to 20 years with a consistent energy efficiency of at least 80%. The solar cells have no moving parts which make them long lasting and generally doesn’t require any maintenance and run for long time.
Solar energy is environmental friendly; a panel uses photovoltaic cells technology to turn sunlight into electricity thus making it a clean, non-polluting, and renewable source of electricity. It does not release any harmful gas like carbon dioxide to the environment and does not require any fuels.
Solar energy for remote areas
Solar energy can also provide much needed power if a home is constructed in a remote area where the national grid isn’t available or is terribly cost prohibitive. Whether it’s a weekender or a full-time residence, an owner may consider a standalone solar power system to meet power requirements at home. You may be required to get deep cycle batteries if the system is completely off grid, to store power when there is no sunlight or its not powerful enough. Typically, solar panels produce 12 volts DC current and appliances that can run on this capacity can be run directly off the batteries or be routed through an inverter to be converted to 240V.
States have come in and are now providing tax incentives to citizens who install photovoltaic (PV) systems in their properties. The incentives are available in different levels whether the property is residential, low-income residential, multi-unit residential, commercial, or non-profit. Some states require the systems to be at least one kilowatt (kW) in capacity, without maximum limit to participate. The federal government gives rebates on solar power installation and an owner may claim credit 30% of qualified expenditure in commercial and business properties without maximum limit.
It is believed that consumers are more concerned about the financial benefits that the solar systems may bring and reduction in initial buying installation cost will be key raising solar energy adoption. With emergence of new technologies, the cost will come down and hopefully see an increase in the use of solar power. Another reason is the solar power reliability, the dependence on sunlight to produce energy means someone will have to invest in solar batteries to store excess power for the night or else depend on the local utility grid to draw power in the night.
Solar energy can help home owner save up to 60% of their electricity bills. Provision of rebates when consumers use solar energy is greatly contributing to solar energy adoption once consumers realize the long term benefit, therefore there is need for enhanced consumer awareness of these products and other attractive solar financing plans. There also need to be increased partnerships to promote solar energy and stakeholders need to come up with fresh and compelling messages on short and long term benefit of solar energy.
Solar energy comes with its own disadvantages, with the initial cost touted as one of the major setbacks in mass adoption of the solar energy. Despite subsidy programs, tax initiatives and rebate incentives from the government in an effort to promote solar energy, many people are still reluctant of making the initial investment.