The sun beams more energy to Earth in one hour than is used by the entire planet’s population in one year. Humans have long attempted to find ways to harness a portion of that energy and turn it into a usable form. Solar panels use photovoltaic cells made from semiconductors such as silicon to convert the sun’s radiant energy into electrical energy. The more cells in a panel, the more electricity that panel can produce.
There are several reasons people should choose solar panels to help meet their energy needs:
- According to Energy companies such as http://www.electricitycompaniestexas.com/first-choice-energy/texas/, They reduce energy costs: Fifty-six percent of the energy used in a typical American home is for heating and cooling. Today’s solar energy systems can result in savings of 50 percent or more on energy bills and pay for themselves in as little as five years. Federal and state tax credits, as well as incentives from some utility companies, can help reduce the cost of installation. Once the initial investment is recovered, solar energy is essentially free. In fact, solar panels often produce more energy than is needed; homeowners can then sell the excess back to the power grid.
- They increase a home’s value: A Department of Housing and Urban Development survey shows that there is a 20 rise in a home’s value for every 1 reduction in annual utility bills. Other studies show that solar power increases a home’s resale value by 5.50 per watt. This means that a solar energy system can pay for itself almost immediately if the increase in home value is taken into consideration.
- They are good for the environment: Solar is a clean energy source that reduces the use of fossil fuels currently supplying the majority of the world’s energy needs. Solar power produces energy without damaging the environment and has no impact on global climate.
- They are reliable: Once solar panels are operating, maintenance costs are very low, since there are few moving parts in the system. Solar equipment has an average lifespan of 25 years, though there are many older systems that are still producing 80 percent of their original power. Reliability and longevity help make solar energy a safe investment that produces a good rate of return over a long period of time.
The benefits of solar power make it the most popular choice in renewable energy. With the supply of fossil fuels dwindling and their negative effect on the environment causing increased concerns, the use of solar power is climbing. The number of people installing solar panels in the U.S. rose 55 percent from 2011 to 2012 as more people take advantage of the sun’s limitless energy supply.