Solar Power Energy Plants are the most environmentally friendly sources of energy generation in the world. With the evolution of solar power technology, the photovoltaic panels have grown even more effective in generating energy than the concentrator solar technology was only a few years ago. With all of the technological advancements that have been made in solar energy, it is possible to produce power using solar power at an affordable price. However, building these solar power plants are still quite costly. How can you use solar power to generate your electricity needs for your home or business?
Producing Solar Power With Less Money
Achieving solar power in your home is possible in just a few different ways. What you choose to do is up to you, but here are a few of the most basic steps to achieving solar power using solar panels: 1. Using Solar Panels to Generate Electricity Solar power can be very cost-effective, because the amount of power you get from your panels is considerably smaller than what you would spend for a fuel-burning power plant. The amount of energy that you get from a solar panel is approximately two-thirds to one-half the amount that you would get from a diesel-powered generator. In other words, when using solar panels, you save nearly half the price of power in electricity. The small cost of solar power is not due to the fact that it requires so much more electricity, as it actually has a good cost/energy ratio. It’s because it’s nearly free. You will find that solar power has a tremendous positive effect on your household. It enables you to charge your devices, and to buy light bulbs and other non-electric items that would otherwise be unaffordable. You can also run several computer systems at the same time, which results in a huge cost savings. For small business owners, solar power can be a great investment. You can generate a tremendous amount of money and clean up the environment.
Using Solar Power For Renewable Energy
Every year the U.S. produces 1,400 million tons of coal-fired electricity for the U.S. electricity sector. This means that every day more than 1 billion tons of coal will be burned in the United States. Consequently, if we are to cut our greenhouse gas emissions to stay below the new target of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, then we will need to generate the same amount of electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar power and wind power.
Developing new technologies to harness these renewable energy sources
One such technology is the Powerwall battery system. Powerwall uses rechargeable batteries to store renewable energy generated at night or during the day and then when electricity is needed, the batteries can be charged up using solar energy or wind power. In September 2013, Tesla began producing a solar-powered version of the Powerwall. This version is significantly more energy dense than the previous version with an 80 kWh battery capacity. It has an annualizing 12 year warranty, is lightweight and works with any standard 110 volt 110 volt AC power outlet. At the end of 2015, Tesla announced that it was adding a second battery to its Powerwall 2. In addition to storing solar energy during the day, this new battery stores electric energy generated from the existing residential solar array. This battery, unlike the ones used in the first Powerwall, can be connected to any 110 volt 115 volt AC power outlet.
Tesla’s Solar Roof
In November 2015, Tesla announced the Solar Roof – a roof tile system that offers homeowners electricity savings of 33% to 50% compared to traditional roofing options. With the innovative design, each tile is constructed from a seamless polymer and installed on top of the existing roof. Solar Roof tiles can be installed with the installation of an electrician. One Solar Roof is capable of generating a total of 230 kWh per year. There are 3 different options for solar energy generation on the Roof. Up to 22 kWh of the 23 kWh per year is Solar Roof Free Energy and is applied to the home’s electric power grid. This installation, once paid off, allows the homeowner to generate electricity for over 50 years without any cost to them, even if they have nothing to install it on. Similar to the Solar Roof – the Powerwall, Tesla offers an energy storage product. Tesla’s Powerwall 2 is capable of storing energy generated from solar power for up to 18 months before being required to be recharged and be “recycled” into the grid, which means homeowners are able to make money from the money they saved by installing Solar Roofs and Powerwalls.
One of Tesla’s biggest selling points is its solar energy projects. While each project can have a range of up to 10 megawatts of solar panels, the most successful projects in the last few years have had 150 to 200 megawatts of solar installed. The effective cost of solar energy is higher than other forms of energy, as it is so much more efficient than other types of energy.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, it is roughly equal to burning oil, but there is a 7.5 percent margin of error because many factors impact a solar energy project’s efficiency. Solar power is consistently proven to be more expensive than other types of energy for electricity generation, but that may be changing in the near future.
There is also the fact that solar energy is completely free. Even if customers receive subsidies in place of the electricity from the solar panels, the total cost of the installation is still far lower than that of conventional electricity generated from fossil fuels. According to the American Council on Renewable Energy, “free” renewable energy like solar power is cheaper than fossil fuels “by $.28 on the year and $1.06/kWh,” while conventional electricity generation is $.50 on the year and $1.04/kWh. On the manufacturing side, a solar panel will run an average of 13 percent less expensive than one from the likes of Samsung, Toshiba, and UMC because of better efficiency and lower weight.
Global Competition in Solar Energy
As for competing countries in solar power, Germany is currently the world leader. China is also a contender, which is why the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently published a paper on the feasibility of connecting the eastern coast of China with the western coast via a solar power grid. The panel’s authors made the assertion that “the additional CO2 emitted by moving these regions of the world will be roughly equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the road.” Meanwhile, in India, Sri Lanka, and China, “the far more feasible ‘land-based’ route is all possible with existing Chinese industries.”
China Power & Solar Energy
China’s ability to give China power from the sea should also be kept in mind when thinking about Europe’s next build, which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero and address renewable energy-related issues. The solar panel may be popular, but we should remember that more efficient solar cells (which use silicon instead of gallium arsenide) can have the same impact.
When trying to mitigate climate change, the main methods of doing so are limited to technological solutions. But for a rapidly growing nation like China, solar power might actually be the most effective, as the article notes: “After all, China is the fastest-growing country on earth, and growing fast, while it has the world’s second-largest economy, a population of 1.36 billion and, arguably, the world’s strongest economy.”