What comes to your mind when you hear the words sustainable, environmentally friendly, and free to use? If you’re thinking about solar energy, give yourself a pat at the back because you’ve got it right.
Out of all the energy sources, solar energy is indeed one of the most versatile, readily available, reliable, and clean sources of energy. Since the sun produces energy all the time, it is considered to be an inexhaustible source of energy, unlike non-renewable resources. Moreover, it can be used to meet the daily global requirements in a sustainable and clean manner.
The fantastic potential of solar energy can be realized from the fact that it has been used to power sophisticated satellites orbiting the Earth. Moreover, it has also been used to provide electricity to remote areas of the world where setting up a centralized energy infrastructure is not possible.
The solar energy from the huge yellow blob in the sky is converted into usable form with the help of photovoltaic panels. These panels consist of multiple solar cells that produce electricity from solar energy and transfer it for further use. With the progression in technology, our ability to extract usable energy from the sun is increasing, and for the same reason, solar energy is the fastest growing source of usable energy production and generation.
If you’re still not compelled to give solar energy a try, here are 10 reasons that will surely motivate you to give solar a try!
Traditionally, non-renewable sources such as coal, oil, and gas have been heavily relied upon to generate electricity and meet the daily energy demands. These conventional resources for electricity generation take millions of years to form. These carbon-rich minerals are formed from the remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago and got buried under the ground over time. The compression of these remains, along with the high pressure, heat, and interaction with bacteria results in the formation of energy-rich fossil fuels. Since they are trapped hundreds of feet under the Earth’s surface, they need to be mined out.
Moreover, the supply of fossil fuels is quite limited since they take millions of years to form. As they have been used for ages to meet the growing global energy needs, their deposits are running out quite fast, and if they are used at the same rate, it’s only a matter of time that we will run out of fossil fuels.
With solar energy, there are no availability concerns since sunlight is available for at least 10 hours on average in most parts of the world. Moreover, the sun is expected to burn for about 5 billion years more, so sunlight is not going anywhere soon. Extracting electricity from the sunlight does not have any effect on the sun as well, so you don’t have to feel guilty about depleting an essential energy resource.
You may wonder about the availability of solar energy during the nighttime or the rainy season, which is completely understandable. The good news is that the advancements in battery technology have resulted in better battery types with higher capacity and efficiency. Hence, surplus energy produced during sunshine hours can be stored in the batteries for later use.
Sustainable & Environment Friendly
The mining and extraction of fossil fuels from below the surface of the Earth is quite a complicated process. A vast area of land has to be cleared first, which oftentimes disrupts the natural habitat. Not only that, but the extraction and burning of fossil fuels also releases tons of pollutants and toxic gasses into the atmosphere. This is one of the major causes of climate change and global warming, resulting in rising sea levels, amongst other problems.
Renewable energy resources, particularly solar energy, is considered to be one of the cleanest sources of energy with a minimum carbon footprint. The generation of electricity through solar panels releases no harmful gases or air pollutants, and this makes it an environmentally friendly source of energy generation.
Governments all around the globe are now taking initiatives to cut down their reliance on non-renewable energy resources with hopes of controlling carbon emissions. For this, solar energy is looked at as the best environment friendly alternative to meet the growing energy needs. Making a shift towards solar energy will decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, thereby shrinking our overall carbon footprint. Moreover, the carbon footprint involved in manufacturing, transporting, and installing solar panels is more than compensated by the carbon emissions during the production of energy from these panels for the years to come.
Minimal Maintenance Required
Renewable energy resources require less maintenance than their non-renewable counterparts. Even out of all the renewables ones, harnessing solar energy is the simplest and most cost effective.
In fact, solar power systems are now within reach of average consumers as a result of the developments in the fields over the past decade. They can be incorporated with the power infrastructure of your home without the need for any complicated wirings. They are also self-sufficient and require minimal maintenance.
For optimal sunlight absorption, solar panels are designed with a smooth and scratch-proof surface. Moreover, they are installed at an angle to absorb maximum sunlight. Another thing to note is that the accumulation of dust and debris on the panels decreases their efficiency as it hinders the absorption of sunlight and hence results in low energy output. However, placing the panels at an angle allows the dust to slide off naturally, ensuring optimal energy generation.
Solar panels require little to no maintenance. The need for maintenance in machines generally arises from movable parts that fail or breakdown after continuous use or because of friction. However, solar panels have minimal moving parts, which means that they don’t need maintenance quite often. And as solar technology continues to evolve, it is expected that the need for maintenance will keep on falling.
Setting up a solar based system requires a lot of initial investment – no doubt about that! However, this investment is worth every penny in the long term as the initial cost can be recovered within the first 10 years of installment.
Some companies offer solar rental systems to homeowners, but if you ask us, investing in your own solar energy systems is the best approach. All household appliances can be made to run on solar power and so you can begin saving up as soon as you transition the power infrastructure of your house to solar energy system. You can also set-up many solar based appliances and products like solar garden lights that are much more cost-effective and energy efficient.
The good news is that the cost of setting up a solar power system is expected to come down in the future as the related technologies become more advanced and sophisticated. The mass production of efficient lithium-based batteries for energy storage is also expected to bring down the overall cost of solar energy systems.
Stability in Prices & Supply
Being connected to the grid makes us vulnerable to power fluctuations associated with the system – from unexpected power outages to maintenance shutdowns. You can escape all these problems by transitioning to solar energy systems as you can be self-sufficient. Also, most manufacturers offer warranties for commercial and residential systems for as long as 30 years – giving you peace of mind for the years to come.
Another great thing about transitions to solar is that it allows you to escape the price volatility associated with conventional fuel-based energy production. This is because the prices of fuel in the global market vary based on a number of factors, including the demand and the dollar value. Since most countries rely on imported fuel for energy generation, the cost of energy can not be fixed. However, you can’t be affected by the changing dynamics of the global fuel markets if you shift towards solar energy.
For the same reason, many conventional large-scale energy plants are also transitioning towards renewable solar based plants to avoid the unpredictability of energy prices.
Many nations offer attractive incentives to consumers if they shift towards solar energy to meet their energy needs. For instance, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 offers a solar tax credit in order to motivate the consumers to adopt solar energy technology. This tac credit enables you to deduct the cost of 30% of solar appliances on your residence from your annual tax bill.
Likewise, some local utility companies also give incentives so that more residential and commercial consumers can switch to solar energy systems.
The concept of net metering involves selling surplus electricity that you generate from your solar panels to the power companies in your area. This means that you, too, can generate profit from selling electricity if you make a shift towards solar energy. Many states are now offering net metering so that more consumers can become self-sufficient, and the reliance on fossil fuels can be reduced.
During the day time, when energy usage is low or when you’re not using much electricity, the extra energy that is generated can be transferred to the national grid so that it can be supplied to other consumers. You can use this credit to pay your electricity bills during the night time if you have a hybrid setup or directly receive your profits from the company.
Set-Up Anywhere & Everywhere
Solar energy resources are the best option for energy generation for remote and rural areas that are not connected to the grid or where setting up a centralized energy network is not possible. Sophisticated solar energy kits are also available that can be used to provide energy to boats, cars, and buses, etc.
Moving forward, it is expected that the next big thing in the domains of solar energy will be solar fabric. This will involve generating electricity even through your clothing – amazing, is it not?!
Increase The Worth of Your Property
Most buyers are willing to pay higher prices for properties that rely on solar energy to meet their energy needs. This is because they don’t have to make the investment on the transition towards solar energy systems, can benefit from the government incentives, and can have greater control over how much they spend on their electricity bills.
Also, many people are inclined towards creating a cleaner and sustainable future for the upcoming generations, and they see solar energy to be a major part of this movement. So, you can fetch higher prices for your property and sell it much faster as compared to properties without solar installations.
Solar energy has perhaps revolutionized how electricity is generated and delivered to users, even in isolated and remote areas. It can be harnessed for electrification and heating, amongst other uses. That’s not all – it is the go-to source when the energy is needed temporarily since solar kits can be quite portable.
Apart from versatility, solar energy is quite reliable. If we travel back 10 years in time, solar based calculators were considered to be quite hi-fi, but they are quite common now. This goes on to show how long the solar technology has come forward and how far it will go in the future.
It’s only a matter of time that solar energy will be used by everyone. The advancements in the field of solar energy are bringing the cost of solar based systems down – ensuring that they are within reach of a common man. Similarly, the developments in storage systems will allow for better storage so that the extra power can be tapped and stored for later use. Sun will be around for much longer after we have depleted all of the Earth’s natural resources, so it’s important that we transition towards solar energy before it’s too late.