|WHY SOLAR? (part 1)
(why solar, what is current energy, choosing renewable energy,
energy audit, various types of panels)
by Amanda Robinson
|How Solar Panels Work?
Solar energy is a great way to conserve energy, lower your energy bills and
decrease your carbon footprint. So why haven't more people jumped on the
solar energy bandwagon yet? In addition to being aesthetically unappealing,
most people I talk to think solar panels are useless in areas that are cloudy.
They are also unaware that solar energy is relatively not as expensive as in the
past. Working with a green architect can give you innovative ideas and can
incorporate the panels into the architectural design making them more
aesthetically appealing. Also, contrary to popular belief solar panels can be
used in various different climates and the price of installation has dexcreased
as well. Technology has improved throughout the years, coming a long way
since the creation of the first solar field in 1912.
Today, Photovoltaic solar panels, invented in 1954, consist of grids of raised
black cells that, up until now have usually come in the form of large clunky
rectangular panels that either stand alone, or must be bolted onto a roof.
Solar Panels are now available to homeowners in different varieties ranging
from tiles to super thin panels. In this series we will discuss how to audit your
energy consumption, the different varieties of panels, the best way to store
your energy and of course tax incentives and savings. Let’s begin with the
green reasons for installing solar panels.
What is Current Energy?
Energy comes in many different forms, heat (thermal), light (radiant),
mechanical, electrical, chemical, and nuclear energy. We get most of our
energy from nonrenewable energy sources, which include the fossil fuels -- oil,
natural gas, and coal. Fossil fuels are found in deposits beneath the earth,
formed from plants and animals that lived up to 300 million years ago.
Fossils fuels were created by ancient sunlight and when burned the fuels
release into the atmosphere CO2, a harmful greenhouse gas. The growing
thought, believed by some scientists, is that we should never have harnessed
fuels created by ancient sunlight. Something so detrimental to our planet,
as CO2, could not be the correct choice of fuel; therefore, scientists suggest
only the use of current energy, which of course is renewable.
Non-renewable resources are energy sources that we use up and take a
long period of time, if at all, to renew itself. Non-renewable resources include
oil, coal, nuclear and natural gas all of which emit harmful toxins damaging
our planet. Renewable energy sources can be replenished in a very short time
and all use current energy like solar (sun), wind, geothermal (energy from inside
the earth), biomass (plants) and hydropower (water). We use all these energy
sources to generate the electricity we need for our homes, businesses, schools,
and factories. We have come to a nexus as a society where duty and
responsibility are paramount. Choosing a renewable energy source is the
most responsible choice we can make. So what can we do to make our
home energy efficient and break us from our dependence on fossils fuels?
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