The State Of Solar Energy
Solar energy has been in the headlines a lot lately. But how viable is it for everyday use? Read on to learn more about the current state of solar energy as a possible source of energy in our homes.
We are hearing a lot about solar energy and solar technologies these days and for good reasons. Solar energy can be utilized for powering all kinds of appliances in our homes efficiently, cleanly, and cheaply. But while solar offers a very attractive energy solution it is not without its drawbacks. Let us take a look at some of the benefits that solar technologies offer as well as some of the areas that need to be addressed in order for solar energy to be a more viable solution to homeowners and businesses.
The biggest benefit of solar power is that it is a very clean source of energy. There is no harm to the environment arising out of the use of solar energy except for the necessary impact of manufacturing the solar collectors and other components that allow it to function as a power source for our buildings. Whereas electricity is powered by oil and gas, all that is required for solar systems is the sun. The collectors will capture the sun's rays and supply you with energy.
The other benefit of solar power is the cost. The sun's energy is free! Your utility bill would plummet if you had a house designed around solar technologies. With enough solar collectors, you can power an entire household rather nicely.
But this brings us to the biggest drawback of solar power. It is very expensive to implement. The cost of purchasing enough collectors and the components required to source a building is out of the reach of most people. One solution to this is to be selective in the use of solar energy. For example, instead of attempting to power an entire building, you could focus on just one component such as the water heater. While it would still take up to 30 years for a solar water heater to pay for itself with the utility savings, it is a great thing to do for the environment.
Another major downside to the potential for using solar energy on a mass scale to power our homes is the fact that it requires a lot of sunshine. Unless you happen to live in areas with intense sunshine all year, there are just too many areas where there is not enough sun to allow us to use solar energy as the primary source of energy. This may change as the technology changes. As science advances and we get better at capturing and converting the sun's rays into energy, more applications of solar energy as a viable solution will become standard.
The bottom line is that while solar technologies offer great promise, they are just not quite there yet. While solar energy is very clean and great for the environment, due to the expense and the technical limitations, it will take some time before we can all rely on solar energy as the primary source of electricity in our homes and businesses. Your grandchildren may be able to use solar energy for cooking and powering their air conditioners, but we probably won't be able to get there in our lifetime.
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