Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Solar power review

With oil resources depleting, many people are begging to use alternate forms of energy. One of these alternative sources is solar power. How much do you know about solar power? There are many aspects of solar power besides its impact on the environment. This blog is designed to talk about not only the benefits of solar power, but the negative sides of it as well.

What is solar energy?

Solar energy is a form of alternative energy that’s harvested from the sun’s rays that is converted into electricity. This is done with the use of what we call solar panels. These panels are made from what are known as photovoltaic cells or PV cells. These cells capture the sun’s rays and convert them into energy. Solar powers can be used for large buildings or simply your everyday home. So what does a solar panel look like?

What is alternative energy and what does it mean to be ecofriendly?

Alternative energy is a form of power that is made from something other than fossil fuels (such as oil). Alternative energy is often thought of to be ecofriendly. This means that harvesting it does no harm to the environment.

What are the good way it effects the environment?

One of the main advantages of solar energy is the fact that the sun is a renewable resource. We can harvest the sun’s energy without worry about running out. According to a video on Time Magazine’s website, every forty minutes there is enough sun light hitting the U.S. to create energy capable of powering the entire country for an entire year. Unfortunately the current solar panels we have are not yet strong enough to harvest this much energy. Currently solar panels can harvest about 20% of the suns energy. This capability however is slowly increasing. As previously mentioned the use of solar power is ecofriendly and does not damage the environment. However, despite being an ecofriendly alternative energy source there are some negative environment effects.

How solar power impacts the Earth negatively

Even though harvesting the suns energy causes no environmental damage, there are some toxic materials and solvents used in manufacturing solar panels that produce small amounts of waste Some examples of these chemicals are cadmium, selenium, and arsenic, these however, should only be of concern if a solar panel is broken. Cleaning solvents can also produce toxic waste. These are normally disposed of in special containers by professionals so for the most part it is not a concern, however, accidents can happen just like with oil spills.

Solar powers impact on the economy

With the increased use of solar power, there have been many more jobs created. These jobs range from manufacturing to installation to maintenance. In fact according to national geographic over 87,000 jobs related to solar power were created in 2007.

How Much will it cost me?

The price to install a solar system in your home varies depending on where you live. A rough estimate would be between $30,000 and 50,000. Also there is a payback period of 11-22 years. The payback period simply means that’s how long it would take for you to save the value of what you spent on the system. Only after the payback period ends can you really start to save money. To find out how much a solar system would cost for you, you can use this simple online calculator

In Short, Solar power like anything has it’d draw backs. However, this is still fairly new technology that is continuously improving. No doubt that in a few years, solar power will bea great alternate energy source.

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