When asked about alternative energy or renewable energy, most people think of solar electricity. Generating electricity from the sun is a technology that everyone knows well. Whether it is your pocket calculator, home, or workshop, regardless of your power needs, solar electricity can get the job done.
Solar electricity has a number of unique advantages over conventional or grid-based electricity. Solar electric systems can be designed for a variety of applications and are extremely beneficial in remote areas where other electric opportunities do not exist. In addition, photovoltaic systems that generate solar electricity have no moving parts therefore requiring minimal maintenance, are easily expandable, and with many smaller units, transportable.
Environmental compatibility is a huge selling point for converting to solar electricity. The fuel for generating solar electricity is a free renewable resource, the sun. Solar electricity offers no noise pollution and actually almost no pollution from their operation. Another appealing factor for many who choose solar electricity over conventional electricity is simply the independence. It is an attractive offer to many rural dwellers to know that when the lights go out due to storms or blackouts, theirs are still working. No longer a slave to waiting on hold to report an outage to find it will be 10 hours before their service will be restored.
The hardest part of converting to solar electricity is the cost of the system. Investing in a solar energy system can be a substantial upfront cost. The value of solar electricity is realized over several years. A professionally installed solar array for an average dwelling (avg. $100/month in electric bills) could pay for itself in 5 years. You could reduce that number by building your own solar panel system or by purchasing a used system. With many solar energy systems in less rural areas and only in some states, you can sell your unused solar electricity back to the electric company. In these situations the return on your investment is realized much more quickly.
Using the power of sun with solar electricity is a benefit to the environment and to your home. Solar electricity is already being used to supplement power for a number of large cities in North America. Take time to learn more about solar electricity and how you can have trade in your electric bill for a carefree life with solar electricity.