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How Solar Panels Have Impacted the Green Energy Movement

Lindsey Patterson Jan 14, 2020
Solar energy has been a very impactful force in green energy. Many of us understand the importance of producing energy with less impact on the environment. There have been a variety of options for renewable power including wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and more. However, none have been quite as successful or as impactful as solar.

Reliable

Solar power is a relatively reliable way to generate renewable energy. For example, wind energy relies on weather patterns to ensure there is a sufficient source of energy. While cloud cover can lessen solar power’s effectiveness, there is usually enough solar energy to provide significant power to a house.
The high political interest in solar has helped push the technology’s advancements. Modern photovoltaic panels are more efficient than ever. They are also very robust. If someone installs panels on his or her home, they will likely remain in good working condition for many years with only basic maintenance.
Certain environmental hazards such as ice may still be an issue, but advancements keep overcoming these problems.

Low Operation Costs

Modern solar panels are very cheap to run once they have been installed. Whether applied to a house, business or solar farm, they require only minimal maintenance to keep running. This means that they provide a continuous return on investment after the initial installation.
Some critics argue that the installation would not be economically viable without government subsidies. However, the installation costs have come down significantly thanks to technological improvements.
Furthermore, many installers offer more accessible ways of getting panels including panel leasing, financing and power purchase agreement. The latter of which is free to set up and provides inexpensive, green power.
Contrasted against wind farms, hydroelectric dams and other such renewable energy operations, the operational costs are very low for solar. This makes solar both economically and logistically very practical.

Relatively Small Size

Solar power panels can be practical even at a very small size. For example, panels the size of your hand can be used to charge personal devices. This has helped make providing solar power to developing communities very practical.
For residential solar users, installing on one’s roof or in a back yard is fairly easy. One of the benefits of the various sizes of solar panels is that they can be used for any manner of application. Wind power, for example, is only practical when used for generating electricity for the grid.
Solar, conversely, could be installed on a shed to power some tools or appliances. As mentioned, it can also be used for personal devices.
Most other renewable energy sources are too large to be used by an individual or family. They can be very beneficial as well. However, solar takes the cake for offering a small package that has reasonable energy-generation potential.

Works Most Places

Many people think that solar can only be used in extremely sunny areas such as Nevada. However, this is not the case. In fact, most U.S. states are within a relatively small variation of each other on the sun index. Certainly, some areas are better suited to solar than others. Nonetheless, solar can be used in many places.
Notably, New Jersey is in the bottom 10 on the sun index. However, solar is immensely popular there, so much so that the government uses small solar panels on utility poles to help add to the grid and infrastructure power generation.

Democratized Energy Generation

As mentioned above, solar power can be used all around the world, including in developing communities. Additionally, people can place solar panels on their own homes. In terms of energy generation, solar is one of the few technologies that lets anyone make their own power plant.
Solar panels have had a major impact on renewable energy and will continue to do so in the future. Discover more about solar and whether it may be right for your home.