I was staring at approximately the 50 houses as I was walking up my street in sunny Southern California and it struck me, “Why wouldn’t every house have solar panels? And if they did, we would have an abundance of energy and be free of the tyranny that exists around our dependence of oil.
Once you understand how solar energy is harnessed, you will find it very easy to see the benefits of green solar energy. Thermal and Light are the two types of green solar energy that exist.
1) Thermal energy is considered “passive”. An example would be capturing solar energy from the materials and design of the building when it was constructed. Specifically, the building would be built to integrate south facing windows with materials that would capture and retain the heat, hence reducing your energy needs because your structure is more efficient. Another example would be using the thermal energy produced by the sun to heat water for solar hot water systems.
2) Light energy is considered “active” and is produced immediately from the rays of the sun. The sun’s light and radiation is captured by solar panels to create electricity.
The current motivation and popular reason to use green solar energy today is for saving money. The relatively higher initial costs of these systems generally pay for themselves over a few years.
The newly installed systems provide supplemental electricity and often all of the electricity for your home. Business are taking advantage of this as well.
One of the most cost effective ways to capitalize on these benefits is building your own solar panels. In conjunction with the many government rebate programs, refunds and net metering (where you sell your unused electricity back to the power company) make it very advantageous and directly reduce the cost of implementing a green solar energy system. One of the best advantages is green solar energy systems require little to no maintenance after they are installed.
The real benefit and probably most important of utilizing green solar energy is the significantly reduced impact on the environment. Climate changes have been scientifically linked to the increased storms, polar ice caps melting and other issues caused by global warming. Green energy provides a clean energy alternative as it creates little pollution and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels.
Solar systems can be used by homes and businesses alike. If going solar cannot meet all of your energy needs, it can certainly reduce them. Utilizing green solar energy can save you money, but its greatest benefit is to the environment and our future.
Look out for my next article discussing alternative green energy sources including sun, wind and water and how you can save money by harnessing them.