With the rising electricity costs and the need to move towards sustainability, solar energy is increasingly being adopted in many homes and over 1 million households in the U.S. have switched to solar. Although despite this trend, there is a general lack of awareness about solar energy and as a result, many homes, as well as businesses, are still looking for information to understand the benefits of going solar.
Here we discuss five (5) facts about solar energy that can help you understand solar energy before you decide about solar:
- Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant form of renewable energy. Energy from the sun is created through nuclear fusion taking place in the core of the sun where protons of hydrogen atoms collide and fuse to create a helium atom. During this nuclear fusion process, an enormous amount of energy is produced. This energy can then be harnessed with solar photovoltaics (PV) to produce solar power that is a resultant of the thermal solar energy being converted to electrical energy.
- Solar energy is a form of energy that is available everywhere on earth emitted by the sun in the form of radiation and without which there would be no life on Earth. Although solar energy is available, only during the day. Due to this solar energy fact, homes or businesses that want to go solar can generate their own energy and use it or even sell it to their utility in places where net metering is allowed. Generating your own electricity to power your home or business makes solar energy a flexible form of energy since you can develop your own solar power plant which is located at or near the point of use (distributed generation) which is different from a centralized form of power production (utility-scale).
- Solar energy is almost a maintenance-free technology and once installed on your home or business; maintenance may take a while since some of the common replacements that will take place at year 11 of operation include Inverter replacement. Other maintenance activities may include battery replacement if your PV system is using batteries as a back-up system. Cleaning of the solar panels may be required from time to time if need be. Depending on where your solar panels are located, dirt particles can reduce your solar output by about 20% and hence it is important to clean your panels to avoid this situation. How often you clean your solar panels, will depend on your location and the inclination of your solar panels.
- Solar energy is an environmentally friendly technology because it doesn’t emit any carbon emissions when it is running and hence the cleanest form of energy. As such, solar energy is one of the best options to fight climate change and save the environment for future generations. Therefore, going solar means, less carbon is emitted into the atmosphere. Learn more about how excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can lead to climate change.
- Solar energy depending on how much you are producing can save you money if you install solar panels in your home or business. How much you save depends on several factors such as the size of your PV system, how much you pay for your electricity per kilowatt-hour (kWh), tax incentives and rebates available to you and your geographical location. Since the amount of money you save with solar varies based on these factors, the solar industry has developed solar tools to help you decide about solar. These tools include a solar power calculator and an online marketplace that helps to determine your solar energy potential, solar panel cost and potential savings of going solar by just typing your address. The information you get is site-specific and is based on the size of your roof, your current energy bill, and your geographic location site characteristics.