Solar energy has been generating plenty of buzz for some years till today. However, many still struggle to know what this energy form is and why they should go solar.
Many want to go solar but lack the rightful information and advise. That fear of the unknown affects them – what if it doesn’t work for what I need? That’s the question of the day.
This article serves to answer the question “Why solar energy?”. It goes on to give some key benefits of using solar energy. After reading this article one would become well versed with the reasons why there is need to go solar.
What is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is primarily obtained from the sun. When the sun shines on solar panels, the solar panels converts the sun energy into electricity which can be harnessed and be used for powering everyday electricity requiring household appliances.
The larger the number of solar panels and their sizes the better the energy that is generated from them. Also more energy is generated from a clear sky than a cloudy sky. Basically solar panels convert the sun’s radiation into electricity.
A solar panel is a combination of photovoltaic cells (or simply solar cells). It is these solar cells that turn solar radiation into direct current (DC) electricity. A battery is used to store the generated energy for future use or for use during the night or overcast hours when there will be no sun.
Depending on the electricity requirements of the target use an inverter is usually used to convert the direct current electricity into alternating current electricity (AC). This is because many household appliances use AC electricity.
Two main kinds of solar energy exists namely solar photovoltaic and solar thermal. Solar photovoltaic is when the solar energy is used to generated electricity. Solar thermal is when solar energy is used to generate heat for example solar geysers or concentrated solar systems.
Why Solar Energy?
A number of reasons exist for going solar. Below are some of the reasons that we compiled to inspire someone to go solar. Read through.
1. Solar is renewable
Perhaps the best fact to know about solar energy is that it is a renewable source of energy. The sun will always be there to provide solar energy. This is different from other sources of energy such as fossil based sources which can deplete.
2. Saving and earning money
Two common questions when someone is considering going solar are: Does solar save money? What are the money saving ways with solar?
Going solar can come with financial savings if done well. This means that you will actually spend less money than what you could be doing with other electricity alternatives. Traditionally, electricity bills keep on rising due to the need for grid repairs and building of new power plants.
Furthermore, if you are in a country where net metering is allowed then you can earn some money by feeding extra energy into the grid. Thus, you can save money through going solar.
3. Going green with no emissions
There are no emissions for solar energy use. No CO2 emitted or other greenhouse gases into the environment. This is because there is no burning of fuel when solar panels are producing electrical energy.
4. Low operating costs
Unless other financing mechanisms are employed, solar just needs an upfront payment and there will be little to know operating costs within the lifetime of the solar components. Solar photovoltaic energy does not require additional fuel or variable costs for it to provide energy.
This is different from other means of electricity where the end user will have to pay monthly bills for life.
5. Adding value to your house
If you own a house and you install solar on it that would mean adding value to the house and will mean more money in the long run in any case you decide to rent or sell the property. Normally houses with solar systems cost more than those without solar systems.
6. Energy independence
Having a solar system will make one less dependent on the grid. When there is no enough sun you can still use the grid and be able to switch back to solar whenever the sun is there. You can decide to completely go off-grid and not depend on the grid at all.
7. New solar technologies coming up
There has been a lot of new technologies coming up in the solar energy sector. Examples are electric vehicles which also lowers the carbon footprint and can be an excellent reason to go solar. Apart from this many inventions are being done in the solar sector such as solar powered cooling. All this points to a possible future where solar dominates the electricity generation industry especially for household related uses.
8. Solar power is scalable
Solar systems can be deployed on both small and large scale systems. Small scale are usually for individual and household uses while large scale is for commercial and industrial uses.
9. Increase grid security and reduced demand
When many people switch to solar that would mean less straining of grid. Also switching to solar would mean reduced demand for grid electricity.
10. Creation of green jobs
Massive switching to solar would mean an increased need for solar skilled personnel. This would mean the rise of green jobs in the energy sector and will help the economy. Examples of these jobs include skilled technicians and installers, general workers and maintenance workers in the solar sector.