Solar energy is something that most of us know about, but very few of us understand or have ever researched. While everyone would like to pay less for electricity, there are only a handful of people out there who are willing to commit to getting off of the grid and running their home or business using solar power. With that said, more and more people are at least getting interested in the idea of going solar, especially when they realize that the Government will actually help them financially to do so. There are two types of solar power out there: large scale and small scale solar energy. While large scale is an idea that is slowly beginning to take shape in most communities, small scale is already going strong.
One of the most interesting aspects of solar energy in modern times is the idea of large scale solar. Large scale solar farms are exactly what they sound like: large areas of solar panels that are used to produce energy that is distributed to homes through the national grid. One of the main reasons why these large scale solar farms have captured people’s imaginations is that they are actually cheaper and more efficient to install and use than simple household solar panels for each unit of electricity produced. While there are plenty of positives to large scale solar, there are also negatives, such as the fact that anywhere from 5% to 25% of the energy is lost during the transfer from the solar farm to individuals’ homes. In addition, because many panels are needed to create electricity for cities, a large area is needed for these farms, whereas residential size systems can make use of otherwise-wasted roof space. These are among the reasons that large scale solar is not as subsidized by the government as the smaller scale options are.
Fortunately the government does heavily subsidize the installation of solar panels onto your home or business. This small scale solar allows individuals or companies to get some or all of their power from the sun, meaning that they don’t have to rely on what the eclectic companies offer. The reason why the government will pay for up to 30% of your installation costs in the USA is because it allows them to have less stress on already aging power systems, meaning less in repair costs as time goes on. In addition, it also helps lesson pollution and the costs related to it, helping the country meet its renewable energy targets. While large scale solar farms may be more efficient, small scale solar is 70% privately paid for, meaning that it ultimately costs cities and states less.
For consumers, though, the best thing about solar power is that it’s way, way, cheaper than getting electricity from the city – you can cut your electricity bills by 65% or more. Not only that but it is also a heck of a lot easier and cost effective to install it than you may think it is – it varies dramatically from state to state, but in certain areas a solar panel system for your home will pay itself off in under 10 years. If your city is not close to offering large scale solar energy to its customers, installing solar panels on your own is the way to go as both a financial investment and as a way to cut your carbon dioxide emissions by up to 1,000kg per year.
James Hawkins is the renewable guru at a UK solar panels comparison website. He blogs about energy efficiency, and is just about to start a similar service to help you find the most energy efficient boilers for your home.