It’s no surprise that new methods of electricity are setting the standard for electricity generation. Solar energy is just one of the sources that people are investing in and using in their daily lives. Although it has been around for many years, finding a practical method to harness the sun’s energy has been elusive until recently. Interestingly, the first solar cell was invented in the 19th century, but lacked interest from the public at large.
Modern solar power panels are merely a light-collecting device which converts light into an electric current. The environmental movement and science community have long awaited the acceptance of solar energy by the masses, however, it has been a long time coming for many reasons. One of the reasons solar power didn’t become widely recognised in the beginning was due to the rich supply of coal-based fuels. Coal was widely available and cost-effective for decades. A growing industrial nation like the US, found coal to be readily accessible and cheap to convert into useful fuels, but the impacts of fossil energy would soon be in doubt.
The advent of scientific studies that suggested carbon-based pollution to be at the root of worsening environmental conditions forced law makers -and public opinion- to change. The gas shortage in the 1970’s was the beginning of the end for the use of coal as a sustainable source of energy. Rising gas and oil prices have many calling to have more oil wells drilled, while others want to have put in place solar power panels.
There are many advantages to using solar energy now. For one, it will help to reduce carbon emissions, which will lead to a far cleaner environment. And the other compelling reason to utilise solar power is the cost savings that average users will experience. The most popular way to use solar power currently is by having solar panels installed on your home. You may have seen houses with one or two rows of panels mounted on the sunny side of roofs. Many builders are even offering the installation of solar panels to entire communities, where each has solar power panels incorporated into the infrastructure.
It’s often believed that such residential solar panels collect energy to supply the home’s electrical demand. However, this is not normally the case. Power generated from panels installed on your home actually becomes part of the collective power grid in the community. You’re collecting energy and then transferring much of that energy back into the grid for use where it’s needed the most. Because you are providing electricity to be sent back into the grid, you are provided with substantial discounts on your regular utility account.
You could also collect and use solar energy solely for your home’s utilisation, but this requires a significant investment of back-up batteries and systems to store and deliver the power. This might work for a smaller house or vacation property with reduced electrical needs, but a standard home would not collect enough power without having a large bank of solar power panels. This isn’t practical for most homeowners as they don’t have the space or desire to set up a large number of panels.
Saving money is always an effective motivation for encouraging people to take action, however, when you can save money and be environmentally-friendly at the same time, you provide many more reasons to incorporate solar technology into our everyday lives.