Solar and wind energy have the potential to replace fossil fuels within the next 20 years. New technology is continuously being developed to tap into these forms of power, with solar gaining more traction than wind. Solar energy is a renewable resource, unlimited in supply, has no negative impact on the environment, and most importantly, it has zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Traditional electricity relies on fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Carbon dioxide emissions from these sources have not only damaged the environment but are the leading cause of global warming. Since they are limited in supply, they are notorious for their volatile prices.
To break away from all the disadvantages of fossil fuels it’s time to embrace changes for the betterment of our lifestyle. If you are considering going solar, then continue reading to discover why installing solar panels on your roof or in your backyard can be beneficial.
1. Solar power is free
The word ‘free’ still has a magical effect. Anything free has the power to attract people’s attention instantly. Though the cost of installing a solar system has a hefty price tag, it’s the resource that’s free. But advancements in the field are slowly driving the price down. In fact, they are almost 90% cheaper than they were ten years ago. And the average payback time on a solar investment in about 7.5 years. After that, you are technically enjoying free electricity.
2. Solar power is renewable
It’s not going to run out any time soon. So there’s no danger of it being monopolized. According to NASA, we have another 6.5 billion years to utilize energy from the sun.
3. There is a hidden potential
The Earth receives more than 20,000 times the energy that’s needed to supply the whole world. We just need to figure out how to harness its full potential. But consumers can hope for the better now that Elon Musk is making headway in this arena. Only time can tell how successful and effective the solar tiles that he is manufacturing will be.
4. Let’s go green
This is as eco-friendly as it can get. Realistically, there are some effects to the environment during the manufacture of solar systems, but it’s negligible when compared to conventional sources. Not to mention, the greatest benefit is zero emissions. If carbon emissions can be controlled, the greenhouse effect can be reduced, and the damages of global warming can be reversed. It’s a great way to lessen our carbon footprint.
5. There is a limitless supply
There’s no way people can over consume this sustainable form of energy. So it is an ideal solution for countries that get a considerable amount of sunshine. However, it’s essential to install panels at the correct angle and position with the help of solar project management software to make sure that each panel can achieve optimal performance.
And though there are issues of intermittency due to the day-night cycle or cloudy weather, the implementation of battery storage can help overcome these problems.
6. Panels require low maintenance
Okay, so they are pricey to install. But once that’s out of the way, you don’t have much to worry about. The panels (10-20 years) and inverters (5 years) come with guarantees. They may need to be cleaned and checked by a qualified person every couple of years, costing about $200.
7. There’s no noise
Since there are no moving parts associated with photovoltaics, they are a silent form of energy.
8. They reduce your electric bills
Any time you’re not consuming electricity that’s produced by your solar panels, you can save money- in more ways than you think. With the use of net-metering and feed-in tariffs, homeowners can sell electricity. So when a PV system generates more power than you require, the excess is fed into the grid. When this happens, the meter actually runs in reverse. You won’t receive any cash for the kilowatt-hours you contribute. Instead, the electric bill will show a credit for the units you contributed. You will not have to pay extra when you use energy from the grid, for example at night or during winter when there is less sunlight.
9. Become energy independent
With homes, generating enough electricity and storing surplus energy is a way to get off the grid. But on a national level, developing alternate sources of power can help the country reduce its dependence on foreign resources.
10. Avail incentives
The government and state offer financial support through rebates for those who are willing to invest in solar power. This is beneficial in cutting costs, making it cheaper to implement the technology. There are other options for homeowners such as leasing or power purchase agreements to help finance their solar power system. It provides opportunities to save or make money from the get-go.
11. Solar power is more efficient
The long-distance transmission of energy through an extensive network of cables and transformers equates to a high level of power loss. But with solar power systems, the distance is literally as far as your rooftop. Therefore, electric power is more efficiently generated and consumed. And the chances of power interruption are significantly reduced.
12. You have a backup plan
In case there is a disruption of electric supply from the electric company, you won’t be left standing in the dark. Implementing a hybrid system lets you have components of both on and off-grid solution.
These numerous benefits make it pretty clear that we need to switch over to solar power. Exactly when that will be feasible is hard to say. There are several developments in the pipeline, so there is light at the end of the tunnel, albeit a long one. But in the meantime, we should concentrate on saving electricity and reducing energy consumption as much as possible. Little steps such as unplugging appliances that are not in use, switching off the lights, recycling, and conserving water can make a huge difference when all efforts are compounded. However, implementing green technology such as electric cars can not only reduce the dependence on fossil fuels but also cut down harmful emissions. We need to focus on decreasing our reliance on finite energy sources.
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524