One of the cleanest types of
But we can only take that view if we can consider that life itself is powered by the sun, therefore everything is solar powered. When we refer to alternative solar energy we are alluding specifically to energy that is harvested directed from solar rays that hit the earth with the help of cells that convert solar energy into heat or electricity.
This is what the currently terminology refers to. These two alternative solar energy types are called thermal and photovoltaic, specifically.
Solar thermal is often enough to heat the water of a household and it’s a fairly straightforward. As to solar PV systems, it will depend on the size of the house and the efficiency of the panels. What they can certainly do is to reduce electricity bills and, in some areas, generate some revenue as PV electricity can be sold back into the grid if a feed-in tariff scheme is in place.
There are many advantages associated with a solar PV system. Besides the obvious ecological benefits, solar panels are low maintenance and will last over two decades. Depending on the location of the building, electricity output can be as high as peak demand, therefore can they help avoid blackouts.
It’s a common assumption that alternative solar energy is expensive, but this is not exactly true, not at all times, at least. As mentioned before, panels last many years, producing free electricity during all that period. If upfront costs are around US10,000, ROI is likely to be 100% or in some cases even more.
Throw in tax rebates and other incentives and solar energy could prove cheaper than many of us imagine it to be. A careful assessment of the site-specific requirements is advisable, but it’s definitely one of the best ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint.