In recent years, solar energy has been touted as the future of energy production. It’s not hard to see why. Solar energy is a renewable resource that is environmentally friendly and has the potential to provide an unlimited amount of power. But as with any new technology, there are a few things you should know before making the switch to solar energy. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why solar energy is the future and what you need to know right now to make the switch.
What is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is the energy that is in sunlight. It is a renewable resource, which means that we can never run out of it. Solar energy can be used to generate electricity, heat water or air, and to power vehicles. Solar energy is also being used in more novel applications, such as powering desalination plants and rural healthcare clinics.
So what do you need to know right now about solar energy? First, it’s important to understand how solar panels work and how they can be used to power your home or business. Second, you should know that there are financial incentives available for those who install solar panels, which can make going solar more affordable than ever before. Finally, you should be aware of the different types of solar panels available on the market today so that you can choose the best option for your needs.
The Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy is the future for a number of reasons:
The main benefit of solar energy is that it doesn’t produce any harmful emissions during operation, making it a very environmentally friendly option. Solar PV systems have a small carbon footprint over their lifetime and don’t require water for cooling, so they have minimal impact on local water resources.
- Solar is Renewable
The biggest advantage of solar energy is that it is a renewable resource that will never run out. The sun is an endless source of power, making solar a very attractive option for the future. Solar energy can be harnessed from the sun using photovoltaic cells or solar thermal collectors. This means that as long as the sun continues to shine, we will have an unlimited supply of solar energy.
- Solar is Clean
Not only is solar renewable, but it’s also clean. Burning fossil fuels releases harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but solar power doesn’t have any negative environmental impacts.
- Solar is Affordable
Solar panels have come down in price dramatically in recent years, making them more affordable than ever before. In some cases, solar can even be cheaper than traditional forms of energy like coal and natural gas.
- Solar Creates Jobs
The solar industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, creating jobs for electricians, installers, and more. In fact, there are now more than 260,000 solar jobs in the U.S., and that number is only going to grow in the years to come.
Solar power also provides a great opportunity for homeowners and businesses to reduce their energy bills by generating their own electricity. With net metering policies in place in many states, you can even sell any excess power back to the grid!
The Disadvantages of Solar Energy
Solar energy has many advantages over these other forms of energy, but there are also some disadvantages that should be considered.
The main one is the initial cost. Solar panels and equipment can be expensive to purchase and install. Another disadvantage of solar power is that it only works when the sun is shining! This means that solar power cannot provide a constant 24-hour supply of electricity like traditional power plants can. This problem can be solved by storing solar energy in batteries or using it to heat water which can be used to generate electricity when the sun is not shining.
Solar Energy in the Future
There are many reasons why solar energy is the future. First, it is a clean source of energy that does not produce pollution or greenhouse gases. Solar energy is one of the most promising sources of renewable energy, and it is only getting more efficient and less expensive as technology improves. In the future, solar energy will become an increasingly important part of our energy mix, as we look for ways to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and move towards a more sustainable future.
Solar panels are becoming more efficient, meaning that they can convert more of the sun’s rays into electricity. This is important because it means that we can generate more power from a smaller area of land, making solar farms more viable.
The future of solar energy is looking very bright indeed. With continued improvements in technology and falling prices, there’s no reason why solar couldn’t become the dominant source of electricity within just a few decades. So if you are looking to invest in renewable energy, make sure you keep an eye on the solar sector – it’s definitely one to watch!
Estimate Your Solar Electricity Needs
More and more people are looking into solar energy as a way to power their homes. But how much do you really need to know about solar energy in order to make the switch?
If you are interested in going solar, there are a few things you need to know first. The amount of sunlight that hits your location, the orientation, and angle of your roof, and the available space for installing panels are all important factors in determining whether solar is right for you.
For most people, the first step is to estimate their solar electricity needs. This can be done by calculating your home’s energy usage and then determining how much of that usage could be offset by solar panels. There are a few different ways to calculate your home’s energy usage, but one of the simplest is to look at your past electricity bills. If you have 12 months of history, take the total kilowatt-hours used and divide it by 12 to get your monthly average. Once you have your monthly average, you can start estimating how many solar panels you would need to offset that usage. A typical solar panel produces about 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity per day, so you would need about 30 panels to offset your monthly usage.
Of course, there are a number of factors that can affect your solar panel needs, including the amount of sunlight you get and the efficiency of your panels. But this should give you a general idea of what you would need to make the switch to solar energy.
Investigate Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
As a homeowner, you are always looking for ways to reduce your energy costs. One way to do this is to investigate your home’s energy efficiency. Homeowners should be well aware of their total electricity usage and consider low-cost and easy-to-implement efficiency measures before choosing solar. Explore the following resources to reduce your electricity use:
- Home energy audits: A home energy audit can help you understand where your home is losing energy and what steps to take to improve the efficiency of your home.
- Appliances and electronics: Use your appliances and electronics more efficiently, or consider investing in highly efficient products.
- Lighting: Switch to energy-efficient lightings, such as LED light bulbs.
- Heating and cooling: If you use electricity to heat and cool your home, your heating and cooling needs will significantly affect the amount of solar energy you need. Weatherizing your home and heating and cooling efficiently will reduce the amount of electricity you need to produce with solar.
Assess Your Solar Potential
Before you make the investment, you will want to assess your solar potential. The amount of power generated by a solar energy system at a particular site depends on how much of the sun’s energy reaches it, and the size of the system itself. To do this, you will need to consider a few factors:
- The amount of sunlight your home receives: This will determine how much power your panels can generate.
- The size of your roof: You will need enough space to install the number of panels you want.
- Nearby shade trees: Consider your own or your neighbor’s trees that are still growing and could shade your system in the future.
- Age of your roof: If you expect to need a new roof, you may want to consider making the improvement before installing solar.
- Your energy usage: The more electricity you use, the more benefit you will see from switching to solar.
Once you have considered these factors, you can use an online solar calculator to get a more precise estimate of your potential savings. From there, you can decide if solar is right for you.
Assess Your Options for Using Solar
Here are some things you need to know before making the switch to solar.
How much sunlight does your area get? This is the most important factor in determining if solar is right for you. If you live in an area with lots of suns, then solar is a great option for you. Solar panels require a sunny location and a south-facing roof. If you have these conditions, then solar panels may be a good option for you.
- How much do you currently spend on electricity? This will give you an idea of how much money you could save by switching to solar.
- What incentives are available in your area? Many states and utilities offer incentives for switching to solar, so be sure to research what’s available to you.
- What type of system do you want? There are two main types of solar systems: grid-tied and off-grid. Grid-tied systems are connected to the power grid, so they can sell excess electricity back to the utility company. Off-grid systems are not connected to the power grid, so they are best for people who live in remote areas or who want to be completely self-sufficient.
- How much can you afford to spend? Solar panels and installation can be expensive, so it’s important to figure out how much you can realistically afford before making any decisions.
Obtain Site Assessments from Installers
When researching installers, be sure to find qualified and insured professionals with the proper certification. You can also ask friends and family members who have recently gone solar for references and check online resources for reviews. Before you make any commitments, ask for proof of licensure before working with an installer. Obtain bids and site assessments from installers. This will give you a better idea of the costs involved and whether or not your home is suitable for solar panels. The installer will also be able to provide you with information on government incentives and rebates that can offset the cost of your system.
When interviewing installers, consider asking the following questions:
- Is your company familiar with local permitting and interconnection processes?
- Can the company provide references from other customers in your area?
- Is the company properly licensed or certified?
- What is the warranty for this system like?
- Does the company have any pending or active judgments or liens against it?
Understand Available Financing and Incentives
Small solar energy systems are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit through 2019. The tax credit decreases to 26% in 2020, then to 22% in 2021, and expires on December 31, 2021. If you opt for a solar lease or power-purchase agreement, remember that you will not be eligible for this tax benefit, since you will not own the solar energy system.
You can search for additional state, local, or utility incentives on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).
All in all, solar energy is looking like the energy source of the future. It’s environmentally friendly, efficient, and relatively easy to set up. If you are thinking of making the switch to solar, now is a great time to do your research. For more home improvements and ideas, visit Hubtrak.