Who could have thought that technology would have come so far and brought us to a point where we can now use the sun's energy to create enough low-cost energy to power our cities.
Through solar energy, we have further advanced as a civilization and have gained access to a number of benefits in progress. People who own solar systems would have already experienced these advantages firsthand.
However, for those who are still new to solar energy concepts and are intrigued by the idea of investing in this industry, here are a few benefits we would like to share with you so that you can have a better idea of why exactly solar energy has been attracting so much attention within the power industry.
Solar power systems have always used pure and clean energy from the sun and have the least damaging effect on the environment compared to other sources of energy. Manufacturing solar panels use so little energy, the payback (energy output needed to offset 100% of the energy input used in manufacturing) is only 6-9 months for most common solar locations and solar panel types. This payback time keeps dropping further every year as manufacturing gets more efficient (including many factories powered in part by rooftop solar) and as the solar panels improve in efficiency each year.
Having solar panels installed on your roof helps combat emissions from greenhouse gasses and lower dependency on fossil fuels. Our traditional mode of electricity is derived from fossil fuels, and when they are burned to produce electricity, they tend to emit extremely harmful gasses, toxins (mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, and lung-damaging particulates) which result in global climate change and air pollution.
Another interesting environmental benefit of solar energy is that it is significantly useful during heat waves or droughts. Nuclear power and conventional thermal power plants (running on coal or natural gas) use immense amounts of water just for cooling purposes, which has risked electricity generation in many countries around the world during droughts. However, with solar power systems, you no longer need water in order to generate electricity.
Reduce Energy Bills
Using a solar power system allows you to create your own electricity. And since the energy produced generally exceeds the demand of your home or building during the day, you earn a “credit” on your bill from your utility supplier and hence enjoy savings on your energy bill. In most cases, whether you lease, finance, buy or sign a subscription or rental agreement for a 3rd party owned solar system, you can enjoy savings of around 20% below your prior utility bill. And the cost for the “fuel” for solar is free, so the contracts are usually at a fixed price. That means no inflation over time, meaning your savings compared to your neighbors will grow from 20% to a much higher savings % during the expected 35-year life of the solar panels. Further, there are no volatile price spikes when fossil fuel costs suffer from their inevitable wild swings in market prices. Solar provides a safe, predictable cost that you can count on for decades.
Moreover, you can also avail of these benefits on cloudy days as there is still some amount of light that seeps through to our panels and continues to power our houses efficiently.
Surprisingly Low Maintenance
One would think that something that offers so many benefits might come under some demanding conditions- such as its maintenance. However, you will be surprised to find out that you don't need to go way out of your way to maintain your solar panels. Other than occasional washing (with water or with an air jet during drought conditions) and annual inspections of electrical connections, there is no other maintenance. Most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty and performance guarantee, and good quality panels have an expected life of at least 35 years. Since they are essentially semiconductors with no moving parts, they can last 50 years or longer. Solar panels made by Bell Labs in the 1960s are still operating today…60 years later!
Additional maintenance includes the possibility to change out the inverter once every 15-20 years.
Many leading figures, such as Troy Helming (aka @SolarNinjaTroy), are devoting their skills and knowledge to solar energy to improve the lives and health of society and the planet.
As a clean energy industrialist, speaker and author, he has founded and been the primary or major investor in several companies - Pristine Sun, Tradewind Energy, and EarthGrid, to name a few - which are centered around accelerating the transformation to clean, lower-cost solar power on a global scale.
His knowledge has been highly recognized within the solar and wind industry. He has won various awards, has over 55 patent claims filed for cleantech inventions, has been a keynote speaker and regular panelist at 100’s of clean energy conferences and tradeshows, accomplished numerous achievements, founded companies that have caused more than 12 GW of clean energy to be installed (that’s equivalent to ~24 huge power plants) and received certifications- leading people to consult with his knowledge before they start investing in their own solar power systems.