Our Most Popular Reads on Solar Energy

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With constantly rising energy costs, more people are looking for alternatives to traditional energy sources.  Solar energy is one of the cleanest–and least expensive–alternatives available, but most people still have a lot of questions about it.

Before they can make an informed decision to invest in a solar energy system, they need to know the costs and the benefits and exactly how those costs and benefits are calculated.  The internet provides more information about solar energy than most people have the time to find, much less read.  These three articles answer many of the most common questions people have about transforming their homes into clean energy sources for themselves and their communities.

For those considering an investment in a solar energy system, it’s important to learn about all the newest solar technologies available and how they can be utilized for maximum benefit.  Blockchain technology and microgrid projects  are just two examples of how technology is increasing public access to solar energy.   In New York, residents are utilizing a new app that allows them to trade electricity generated from their solar panels directly to neighbors who need it!   Some experts are predicting that blockchain technology will lead a clean energy revolution, that that power companies that don’t learn to harness this power effectively won’t be able to stay in business long.

In Norway, a blockchain app that would allow customers to buy and sell power independently is already being developed, and trials of similar apps are being conducted in Austria and Finland as well.  These new scientific developments all lead towards decentralization of power, which means more freedom of choice for consumers.

Once they’ve decided to make the investment, people still have questions about solar installation and what kind of system would best suit their needs.  The best type of system depends entirely on the goals of each individual.  Some people just want to be able to offset the additional energy costs of transforming their homes into smart homes. The safety and convenience of being able to use mobile apps to come home from work to soft lights already switched on and relaxing music already playing can increase energy costs.  Other people want to power their homes completely with solar energy, and still others have the goal of not only powering their own homes, but generating enough energy to earn a profit by selling unused energy back to the utility grid.

Solar panel installation companies can customize whatever type and size of system that will allow you to achieve your specific goals. They can also equip you with either a battery system to store excess energy for future use, or reverse net metering that connects your system to the grid for earning valuable energy credits.  Whatever your specific energy goals, everyone benefits from the increased price stability of solar energy.  Unlike other energy sources, the cost of solar energy never fluctuates.  That means the monthly budget you work so hard to maintain won’t be thrown off by unexpected energy cost increases anymore.

A solar energy system consists of solar panels, a battery system, and an inverter.  Connected by cables and ground wires, the system harnesses and converts sunlight into usable energy to power the many electrical devices we have come to depend on in our everyday lives.   Once people have decided upon the system that best suit their needs, their next question is usually how much installing that system will cost.  There are a number of factors to consider when calculating the cost of a specific system.  Those factors include the size of your home, what type of heating and cooling system you have, and the number of electrical appliances you own.

The average home consumes 1kW of electricity per hour (kWh).  There are 730 hours in a month, and the average price of a kWH of electricity is $.10, making the average monthly electric bill $73.  A single solar panel can generate 10 watts per square foot.  The average cost of installation is between $7 and $9 per watt.  100 square feet might be enough to power an entire home if sunlight were constant. Since it isn’t, it usually takes between 400 and 800 square feet, depending on the amount of available sunlight in your geographic area.

The best investments are those that pay dividends that benefit not just individual investors, but their local communities, and by extension, the rest of the world as well.  An investment in solar energy is an investment in elevating not just our own quality of life, but the quality of life for future generations.