What Are The Top 7 Solar Power Topics That The General Public Should Understand?

Phrases like “green energy,” “photovoltaic,” and “renewable energy” are thrown around a lot among individuals supporting solar energy and other forms of sustainable energy. These terms have significance, but to the general public, they are simply buzzwords without real meaning behind them. You don’t have to understand every team associated with solar energy to understand the basics of solar electricity. With basic knowledge about key energy topics, you can quickly learn all you need to know about solar energy.

  • The benefits of solar-powered electricity

What is the true benefit of solar energy? Solar energy is a renewable resource, meaning that as long as solar panels are operational, they will continue to produce energy. Unlike fossil fuels, that burn resources to produce energy, solar power harvests the energy from the sun. This prevents the need for expensive processing plants, the purchasing of fossil fuels from other countries, and the pollution of the earth through the use of traditional fossil fuels.

  • The drawbacks of solar panels

Solar-powered energy is not a quick fix to all our energy problems. In its current state, solar power is expensive to install, and takes up a lot of space. By 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) only expects solar energy to provide 25 percent of the world’s energy. In certain climates and conditions, solar panels are also inefficient at harvesting energy from the sun.

  • Types of solar energy

Right now, there are four main types of home solar panels: photovoltaic, thin-film, solar thermal, and concentrated solar panels. Photovoltaic solar panels use materials including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and silicone to soak up the energy from the sun and convert it into usable electricity. Thin-film panels use liquid silicone poured onto panels to collect solar power and store it for future use. Solar thermal systems collect the heat energy from the sun and use it as-is to provide heating for water, building heat, and even pool heating. Concentrated solar panels have a unique curved shape that uses heat energy and electric conversion to provide electric energy and heat.

  • The cost of solar energy

Currently, solar panels are expensive to install. According to the United States Department of Energy, solar systems can cost anywhere from 4,000 USD to 20,000 USD for residential use, depending on the size and number of panels, the intended use, and whether the system provides supplemental energy or the main source of energy for a home. For commercial use, solar panels cost about $10 USD per watt of power produced.

  • Home and business use

The uses for solar power are virtually endless. In addition to providing basic heating and energy production for a building, solar power can also provide additional services, such as charging batteries, machines, and generators, powering electronic devices, and even powering vehicles. Businesses and homeowners alike can reduce the cost of day-to-day electrical use by implementing solar technology.

  • Current solar energy trends

Solar-powered electricity is just beginning to take off. Over the past 20 years, solar energy has changed from a far-off dream to a reality. Businesses all over the world are taking advantage of solar energy by adding panels to rooftops to reduce energy bills and prevent pollution. Many governments offer credits and bonuses to homeowners who install solar panels and other green energy products in their homes. Governments are also implementing long-term solar energy solutions to help combat global warming and environmental damage.

  • The future of solar energy

The future of solar energy remains bright. By 2020, the European Union hopes to power 12 percent of energy in Europe with solar panels. Companies all over the world are continuing to make innovative solar energy products, such as sustainable batteries and electronics powered by the sun. Future developers will find new ways to make solar panels more efficient, smaller, and better at harnessing the nearly limitless power of the sun.   Solar energy is one of the best methods we have for improving the quality of our world and saving on the cost of expensive fossil fuels. If the technology of solar panels continues to advance and grow at its current rate, fossil fuels may soon become a thing of the past.

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This is a guest post by Andras Deak, an occasional guest-blogger and a full-time green living enthusiast. He currently represents http://www.eco-kinetics.co.uk/, one of the best home solar panel provider in the United Kingdom. Andras tries to live in the self-sustainable way with building an own aquaponics at his garden.