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About Solar Energy
Solar power is energy from the sun that is transformed into thermal or electrical energy.
Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable resource source available, and the United States has some of the richest solar resources worldwide. Modern innovation can harness this energy for a variety of usages, consisting of producing electricity, supplying light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial usage.
Solar power makes it possible for homeowner to utilize the sun to power everyday life: running your a/c, washing clothing, enjoying TV, cooking dinner. All while reducing your carbon footprint, and without burning nonrenewable fuel sources or putting a stress on the electrical grid. And while the environmental benefits of solar power are considerable, many residents find that the benefit, unique functions, and expense savings of owning a solar power system are even more alluring.
Top Ten Advantages of Solar Energy
#1 Considerably lower or perhaps remove your electric bills
Whether you're a property owner, organization, or nonprofit, electrical energy expenses can make up a big portion of your monthly costs. With a solar panel system, you'll create complimentary power for your system's entire 25+ year lifecycle. Even if you do not produce 100 percent of the energy you consume, solar will reduce your energy expenses and you'll still save a great deal of money.
#2 Earn an excellent return on your investment
Photovoltaic panels aren't a cost-- they're one of the best ways to invest, with returns rivaling those of more standard financial investments like stocks and bonds. Thanks to significant electrical energy bill savings, the average American property owner pays off their photovoltaic panel system in seven to eight years and sees an ROI of 20 percent or more.
#3 Secure against rising energy expenses
One of the most clear cut advantages of solar panels is the ability to hedge utility rates. In the past ten years, residential electrical energy rates have actually increased by an average of three percent annually. By purchasing a solar energy system now, you can repair your electrical power rate and protect against unpredictable boosts in electrical power expenses. If you're an organisation or house owner with rising and falling money circulation, going solar also assists you better forecast and manage your expenditures.
#4 Boost your house worth
Multiple studies have discovered that homes equipped with solar energy systems have greater home worths and sell faster than non-solar houses. Appraisers are increasingly taking solar setups into factor to consider as they value homes at the time of a sale, and as homebuyers become more educated about solar, demand for homes equipped with photovoltaic panel systems will continue to grow.
#5 Increase U.S. energy self-reliance
The sun is a near-infinite source of energy and an essential component of accomplishing energy independence in the United States. By increasing our capability to generate electrical energy from the sun, we can also insulate our nation from cost variations in global energy markets.
#6 Develop jobs and assist your regional economy
Inning accordance with The Solar Foundation, the solar industry included jobs at a rate nearly 12 times faster than the general U.S. economy in 2015, representing 1.2 percent of all jobs in the nation. This development is anticipated to continue. Due to the fact that solar-related tasks have the tendency to be higher paying and can not be contracted out, they are a considerable factor to the U.S. economy.
#7 Safeguard the environment
Solar is a great method to lower your carbon footprint. Structures are accountable for 38 percent of all carbon emissions in the U.S., and going solar can significantly reduce that number. A typical domestic photovoltaic panel system will remove three to four lots of carbon emissions each year-- the equivalent of planting over 100 trees annually.
#8 Demonstrate your commitment to sustainability
Sustainability and business social responsibility are essential elements of a company's culture and values. They also produce bottom line outcomes. Significantly, consumers and neighborhoods are recognizing and rewarding organisations that pick to run responsibly. Organisations are discovering that "green" credentials are a powerful motorist of consumer purchasing decisions, developing goodwill and enhancing organisation outcomes.
#9 Start Conserving from Day 1
Solar purchase power contracts (PPAs) and solar leasing has actually made it possible for homeowners to go solar for little or no cash down.
Lots of homeowners opt to fund their photovoltaic panels with one of the "pay-as-you-go" funding choices. This suggests that a third-party business-- the solar service provider-- owns the solar system and takes care of setup, maintenance, tracking and repair works. You just pay the solar supplier for electricity-- less than you would've paid the energy business.
As of June 2013, 75% of all American houses have access to pay-as-you-go solar.
#10. Solar is a Secure Financial investment
The utility business are notorious for their changing and unreliable electrical power prices. There is clearly an upward pattern.
With photovoltaic panels and easy mathematics, we can compute just how much electrical power will be generated, and most notably, at exactly what cost, for a minimum of the next Twenty Years (fixed energy costs).
What are the various payment options?
We have many flexible purchasing agreements for customers who would like to install a new home solar system. There are three different payment options, making them a viable choice for customers of all budgets. The payment options include Lease, PPA, and Purchase.
- Low, fixed payments each month
- System insurance for 20 years, including maintenance
- Flexible end-of-term options, including system upgrade, lease extension, and free panel removal
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
- We own the solar panel system
- $0 down for installation
- Customers only pay for the solar energy that they use
- Customer pays for the system upfront and owns the system
- System monitoring and maintenance for 20 years
- Receive 30% federal tax credit
- See a return on investment within 7-10 years
What happens when the contract for my lease is finished?
We provide our customers with a few different options for when their lease contract is up. Customers can upgrade their equipment to the newest solar technology available, extend the agreement, or have the panels removed at no cost.
What is the warranty?
The Lease and PPA include a 20-year warranty during the lifetime of the system. This warranty exceeds that of most other solar installers’ warranties.
Frequently Asked Questions
Would You Invest In Solar Panels For Your Home?
That's difficult to say because current costs of photovoltaics is about $10 per watt installed but projections are that it will be less than $1 a watt quite soon and will be integrated into common building materials like roofing tiles and even paint.
I would focus first on insulating the home, then on using solar thermal collectors for hot water and for heating. If you're in a warm climate, it's possible to use solar heated water in a lithium bromide chiller to provide for airconditioning but due to the low demand in the market, small scale residential units aren't available forcing one to buy an expensive 30 ton unit and derating it for residential use. If there are significant tax breaks then a photovoltaic system might make sense but in the meantime you can get about 80% of the benefit with much less expensive solar thermal.
What Ideas Do You Have To Combat Global Warming?
Some Of These Are Slightly Farfetched, But Not Impossible, So Don'T Laugh At Me Please.
1. Collect Fresh-Water Ice Off Of Antarctica, And Greenland, And Sell It As Bottled Water
2. Create Fields Of Solar Panels In The World'S Sunniest, Hottest Locations Such As The American Southwest, African Sahara, Middle East
3. Build Extremely Tall Wind Turbines, Tall Enough To Reach The Earth'S Jet Stream, Which Is Always Windy
4. Build Very Sturdy Wind Turbines On Mountain Tops, Sea Cliffs, And Other Low-Lying Area Which Are Very Windy.
5. Find Healthy Places To Store Nuclear Waste, And Start Using Nuclear Energy (Which Doesn'T Have Global Warming-Causing Agents)
6. Invent Filters Which Will Not Release Co2 Through A Car'S Exhaust Pipe
In regards to these:
"1. Collect fresh-water ice off of Antarctica, and Greenland, and sell it as bottled water"
If desalinization does have an effect as is THEORIZED based only on the evidence in sediment cores, then the scale we would need to bottle would not be sufficient to alter this.
"2. Create fields of solar panels in the world's sunniest, hottest locations such as the American Southwest, African Sahara, Middle east"
umm what do you think this would accomplish? Cleaner energy than coal maybe? Think about the eco system of those desserts though. Though your viewpoint of the area is desolate, those areas are acually not devoid of life and anything placed in these deserts would effect those eco systems.
"3. Build extremely tall Wind Turbines, tall enough to reach the earth's jet stream, which is always windy" There are actually already plans that have been presented that would "Fly" kite like turbines that did this.
"4. Build very sturdy Wind Turbines on Mountain tops, Sea cliffs, and other low-lying area which are very windy."
Cant comment on this but there are already lots of wind turbines in these types of areas. however now enviromentalists are complaining about wind turbines in California that have killed condors because they fly into them.
"5. Find healthy places to store nuclear waste, and start using Nuclear Energy (which doesn't have global warming-causing agents)" There is no "healtier" place to store waste. The problem is the shelf life of the waste is so long before it is harmeless that it would pile up faster than it was produced. A more efficient idea is producing a less harmful waste product from nuclear energy. One idea that has been presented is a silicone covered ball or nuclear material that once expended is actually safe to handle with bare hands. and can be placed in storage without risk of contamination to the water table.
"6. Invent filters which will not release CO2 through a car's exhaust pipe" Even if we eliminated all CO2 from the 500 million cars on this planet, the human population increase would replace all CO2 eliminated by the year 2020. (Thats just counting the CO2 humans exhale! Cars on average emit 10000 - 12000 pounds of CO2 a year while a human expels 712 Pounds per year JUST from exhaling. Since the population is going to more than double by 2020 this would replace all that CO2
CO2 despite being the largest by volume of GHGs expelled and in our atmosphere is no where near the % increase of other human produced GHGs Methane actually has the largest increase in volume in our atmosphere than any other GHG.
Do humans have an impact on the NATURAL occuring Global warming? Yes but dont fool yourselves it does occur naturally! But to what extent human contribute is largely unknown. Because of the roughly 8 known factors that contribute to climate change only about 3 are well known enough to make determinations. With the other factors so unknown the degree at which human impact GW is only an educated guess.
None of this of course means we should ignore the fact that humans are contributing to the equation. The less impact we have the better in all reality. So if you are looking for ideas here are a few.
Actually being developed:
1. Wave generators. They are segmented snake like devices that lie on the ocean surface and ar tethered to the ocan floor. The gereator on the floor is connected by cable to a shore plant. The natural occuring motion of the ocean moves the segments opposite directions transferring this motion into energy. A field of these (Trying to guess the size since I dont recall exactly) about 5 -10 Square miles in size could supply ALL of England with power (I say england because that is one of the areas that they are creating one of these fields. The amount of area of ocean this would take up compared to the size of the country is AMAZING.
2. Like mentioned before. Silcone covered nuclear material that was developed by people at either MIT or one of the IVY schools, dont recall exactly, that renders the spent materials harmless from nuclear plants. The materials are also so safe in this form that risk of the plants having a meltdown is virtually nil.
3. Gene therapy for crops that will allow them to survive in hotter climates. WHY? Because even if humans are not speeding up GW it will eventually happen naturally. Once crops die off disease and famine will be the largest contributor to human death, we after all could survive cold or warm times thanks to technology...but we still have to eat.
The fact is human contribution will never be halted. We will only get to the point that we cause ourselves to choke our own lives out by over population. When death happens on the scale that more than half the world population dies, that is when true less impact will happen.
little tidbit fact: Did you know that we are technically still in an ice age? Under the true definition of ice age since there are still Global ice caps we are still in an ice age. We are in the receeding period of that time but still technically in one.
In response to:
"Find alternative to petrol... Why should we still be driving cars powered by a 100 years old technology. I think if car manufacturer push for electric cars our planet will be freed from its most polluting factor... Electricity can be created by wind, light, water and you can add nuclear energy if it s safe and controlled. "
This answer is just stupid. Although it would be smart to convert to NO GHG cars the electric cars produce more GHG than a gasoline car does not by themselves but by feeding of the electrical supply that is STILL over 80% coal burning production.
Also Cars only contribute about 23% of the CO2 emissions worldwide and like I mentioned above human population growth will replace all the current car CO2 by 2020 just by the new CO2 being produced from exhaling.
Do You Believe In The Myth That The Government Can Fix The Economy?
Every Individuals Supply/Demand Can Be Fixed By About 500 Politicians On Capital Hill?
Inflation is caused by an excessively high ratio of the nation’s supply of money to its supply of goods. The federal government can minimize the supply of money with its taxing powers and maximize the production of goods with its computer keyboards. Prosperity requires only a wise President, a consenting Congress, and an educated electorate. Unfortunately, we lack all three.
During World War II, the federal government minimized the supply of money by selling war bonds and high taxes. It maximized the supply of goods by printing contracts. WW II productivity was not a miracle; it was simply the result of full employment. The unemployment rate was less than 1% and Inflation was not rampant. The debt-to-GDP ratio was twice today’s ratio but the war debt was never “paid off”. Due to post-war economic growth, it remains an insignificant portion of our annual debt interest expense.
Today, unlimited funds can be created with computer keyboards and spent usefully on the infrastructure we will need to stay ahead of China in the coming century. More than an economic issue, this is a matter of national defense. Just as industry found it unprofitable to build the Interstate Highway System, government must again finance new infrastructure. It works for China. Why not for us?
For security, we will need a smart grid and a nationwide, underground power and communication network. For energy independence, we will need homes with near-perfect insulation, solar panels, and geothermal wells. To battery-power our entire automobile fleet, we will need dozens of safe, thorium-based nuclear power plants. And to eliminate the long-haul truck and air traffic that uses a major portion of our energy and our highway and airport maintenance expense, we will need a network of low friction, energy-saving, maglev freight and passenger trains zipping through low-pressure tubes at jet speed.
Most of all, we must provide free apprenticeship and college education for all the youth that can absorb it. Just as we do not expect children to pay for K-12 education, we must also provide them with tuition, supplies, and housing while they earn their diplomas and degrees. That would be our best investment, as it is for all the other advanced and developing nations.
At the same time, we can provide Medicare for everyone and pay for Social Security retirement at an age commensurate with our need for a labor supply. Free education and full employment will provide the required supply of doctors, nurses, and medical infrastructure.
Will taxes pay for all that? No! We don’t need taxes to pay for government expenditures. We have keyboards. There are only two reasons for taxation. (1) To control inflation, the income of the bottom 99% should be progressively taxed enough to keep the unemployment rate over 2%. (2) To prevent the bribery of Congress, the income and the estates of the top 1% should be progressively taxed enough to prevent the purchase of Congressional votes. Wealth is power and inherited wealth is inherited power: aristocracy. It is the exact opposite of democracy and meritocracy. Let’s end this betrayal of our Founding Liberals. Enrich the middle class so that it can also invest!
What will pay for all that? Keyboards! Deficits don’t matter. All that matters is GDP, which is maximized by full employment of available resources, including labor. Since productivity increases with infrastructure, the government can maximize GDP by hiring idle resources to build infrastructure. When they are put to work with computer keyboards, the labor of twenty million jobless will annually turn a $500B relief cost into a $2T infrastructure benefit.
What about the value of the dollar? Relative to a foreign currency, its strength depends upon our productivity relative to that of the foreign nation. To maximize productivity, we need full employment to rapidly build the world’s best infrastructure. Our military strength depends upon our domestic industrial base. Productivity cannot be out-sourced. There is no alternative to a policy of full employment. A small government is the road to serfdom.
What about the debt? The world is begging us to keep their money safe at a negative real (inflation-adjusted) interest rate. As a service to the market, we should sell bonds at an interest rate slightly higher than the normal inflation rate, ideally 2%. There is no reason to pay more. We don’t need the bond-holders. We have keyboards.
Google: UMKC, Functional Finance, Dr. Abba Learner, http://www.KeynesForum.blogspot.com
Is This Solar Invention Viable? I Think So...?
If A Hot-Air Balloon Was Transparent, (And Conventional Means Were Used To Get It Above Cloud Level Into Sunlight)...Would The Greenhouse Effect Be Enough To Keep It Aloft? Bearing In Mind How Hot A Greenhouse Can Get In Direct Sunlight...?
Well, if the balloon was transparent, then the light would pass right through without being converted to heat. The glass panels of a greenhouse work to trap heat that is generated when light strikes an object inside the greenhouse. You need some sort of object inside the balloon to convert the incoming light energy into heat before it can be trapped by the balloon.
What Solar Technology Improvements Are Coming In The Next Year?
In Another Question I Asked, Users Were Alluding To New, Cheaper, Better Solar Technology That'S On Its Way In The Next Year. However, A Solar Panel Installer I Saw Speak Said That The Technology Is Fairly Well Established And The Year Over Year Improvements Are Incremental, Not Innovative At This Point. Can Someone Point Me To Articles About The Solar Technology That'S Coming Soon That Will Outdate What'S In The Market Today?
It is hard to know what will be hitting the market within a year's time. I will list below some of the companies that are the most exciting that are working on new technologies.
Your solar installer friend is probably right that within one year things will not be a great deal different. Within that time frame I think there is a good chance that we will start to see thin film solar companies starting to ship in volume.
The big promise of thin-film is the reduction in cost and the ability to make very large volumes of solar panels without hitting fundamental limits.
The solar energy industry will one day be so large that there are concerns that we might run short of certain critical elements although most people expect that these limits will not prove to be insurmountable.
A couple of very exciting thin film companies are:
Miasole - run by a former disc drive maker and very strong technically. Look for their panels to become widely used very soon. They are also looking very hard at the building integrated solar market, where sky scrapers are sheathed with photovoltaic materials.
Nanosolar is working on a sort of "solar ink". They are looking at harnessing the technology used to print news paper and the like. If they are successful solar panels could become vastly cheaper. I think they are more than a year from market, but their technology is extremely interesting.
Power film is already selling thin-film solar products and is ramping up. I think an important niche for them is the wearable solar panel integrated into laptop bags, back packs and the like. You can charge your lap top or iPod with your solar back pack.
There are many other thin film companies and many are starting to sell panels in volume.
The solar concentrator market is another very exciting sector where a number of companies are hard at work. I think most of these products are more than a year away from market. There are a few older companies in the market but they do not appear to have broken the price barrier required to really take off. A couple with a real shot are:
SolFocus - They are working with Xerox Parc research center and are making advanced prototypes of concentrator panels with about 30% solar energy conversion efficiency. That is about double what a conventional flat panel can do. The downside is that concentrators of this sort need to track the sun. SolFocus is aiming primarily at very large installations such as large industries or utility scale power generations. I wish them luck, but that is a tough market place. They are projecting panel costs about 1/3 of current panels.
Energy Innovations - They are working on a concentrator module that uses tracking mirrors. They think the mid-sized commercial market will be their best opportunity. They make a rather odd looking gizmo that like the SolFocus unit is very high efficiency. They expect to put these on the millions of flat warehouse buildings all over the country.
Prism Solar is a company working on a very innovative flat panel concentrator that uses holography to concentrate sunlight to a low level. Their concept looks especially well suited to solar windows and sky lights. It has the potential to half the cost of current panels while equaling their efficiency. They are also more than a year from market.
Power Light Corp. is innovating from a different direction. They are tackling the high cost of installing solar and have come up with a solar shingle that is proving popular with new home builders. There are a number of new housing developments in California using their solar shingles. This is probably the future of solar. All new homes with built in power generation. No muss no fuss for the new home owner, just very low utility costs.
This is just a small taste of what is happening in the solar field. Solarbuz is one of the best industry news sources if you want to follow the market.