While the solar craze has been sweeping the nation, we realized that even though people know that it is beneficial, many do not know why or how this is true for them as well. Most simply know that it is good for the environment and that it can save them money, and that is about it. So, we decided to compile this list of little know facts about solar. Take a peek, you are sure to learn something from this.
Solar Energy Is Free & Abundant
Solar energy is a completely free source of energy and it is found in abundance. Though the sun is 90 million miles from the earth, it takes less than 10 minutes for light to travel from that much of distance.
There Are Different Types
The solar technology can be categorized into active and passive energy. Solar panels and solar thermal collectors which harness solar energy are examples of active solar technology. Passive technology includes constructing rooms to improve air circulation, orienting space to favorably use sunlight.
Solar Energy Is Nuclear Fusion
Nuclear power is a term we use to describe ways to harness energy through nuclear fission and fusion processes. Conventional nuclear reactors rely on the fission of uranium atoms to produce heat, which we use to generate electricity. Nuclear fission processes releases vast amounts of heat, but is still far from the potential of fusion, the same phenomena that powers the Sun.
It Is Green, But Not 100%
Using solar energy produces no air or water pollution and no greenhouse gases, but may have some indirect negative impacts on the environment. For example, there are some toxic materials and chemicals that are used in the manufacturing process of solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity. Some solar thermal systems use potentially hazardous fluids to transfer heat. Emissions of greenhouse gases do take place during the manufacturing. Dangerous climate gases such as nitrogen trifluoride and sulfur hexafluoride are both on the list. These literally have many thousand times the impact on global warming as an equal amount of carbon dioxide would.
It Is Growing At A Rapid Pace
Solar energy is being recognized as the future of alternative energy sources as it is non polluting and helps combat the Greenhouse effect on global climate created by use of fossils fuels. The cost of solar panels has dropped over 80% since 2008, and it is expected to continue to fall. Solar energy is now one of the most widely used renewable sources of energy.
It Is Becoming More Affordable Than Ever
Not only has costs dropped drastically over the past few years, but solar power itself is a free source of energy, and once you’ve installed PV panels on your home, maintenance is minimal, and most solar panels have a warranty of 25 years. In addition, many states allow you to sell the excess solar energy you produce, meaning you can not only earn back the cost of your panels, but you can also make a profit in the long run. This is known as net metering. Many states also have incentive programs for solar panel installation as encouragement to switch to more sustainable energy production. Policies vary by state, so find out what’s offered in yours when considering solar for your home.