Solar energy is the ultimate renewable energy. Clean,
plentiful and thanks to today's technologies, easy to harvest.
Every single day enough solar energy strikes the planet to meet the
world's energy needs for four to five years. In an era where
global warming and CO2 buildup are of critical concern, solar energy
can become an incredibly valuable solution for helping to protect our
Solar energy systems are often classified into two categories,
passive and active. A passive solar system uses the light and
heat from the sun directly for both heating, cooling and lighting. The
best potential for passive solar approaches is if you are building a
new home and can design your home from the beginning to leverage the
power of the sun. However, even
existing homes can be retrofitted to better leverage passive heating
Active solar systems are those that involve the active use of
technology to harvest the energy of the sun. This includes the
use of both photovoltaic panels to capture the sun (PV) as well as
home solar hot water systems. There have been extraordinary
strides in solar panels in the last 10 years. Solar cells have
become more efficient and less costly to produce which makes them an
even greater value than they were a few years ago. There have
also been great strides in our ability to install and implement PV
technology as contractors and builders have begun to treat PV as a
mainstream building technology.
The economics of solar energy are compelling, particularly as the
costs of conventional oil and gas continue to climb. Most PV
systems are warranted for at least 25 years and usually pay for
themselves in much less time, even assuming that gas and oil costs
don't rise. Because of federal legislation, every state is required to
allow homeowners to feed electricity into the electric grid.
With grid-tied solar energy systems the meter on sunny days can
actually run backwards which means the energy companies have to pay
you rather than the other way around. Now isn't that a nice
change! Moreover, grid-tied solar electric systems avoid the
need for batteries to store the electricity making the overall system
even more cost effective.
Thanks to recent federal legislation homeowners get a 30% tax
credit for money they invest in home solar energy systems. In
addition, nearly every state has begun to get on the solar bandwagon.
Many states now offer additional financial incentives for home solar
systems. Combine all of this with the fact that solar panel
prices have dropped by more than half in the last year and now a solar
energy system is an extremely sensible option for nearly every
solar energy videos
We have been getting a lot of questions
lately as to the costs for a solar
PV system and how soon PV systems pay for themselves. It is not always
easy to tell given the host of federal and state regulations. To
provide some clarity on these cost issues we have updated our section on
Typical Costs to reflect the
latest prices and have added a new article on
Calculating the Payback for
a solar PV System. Take a look!
PV Demand Growing - Global photovoltaic demand continues to soar in 2010 and is currently projected to double over the rate of installations
year last year, according to Solarbuzz®, a solar energy market research company.
Solarbuzz has raised its 2010 market size to 15.2 GW, which compares with a revised 7.5 GW in 2009.