Solar Power Advantages
(1) Free Energy
Once you have a solar power system installed, the energy is free. Generally, solar energy collectors/generators have few, if any, moving parts, and therefore the cost of maintenance is very low. Of course the cost of constructing a solar power system can be significant, so to calculate the price of a kilo-watt of energy produced by a particular installation, it is necessary to divide the initial expenditure into the total number of kilo-watts the system is expected to produce, over its entire lifetime.
(2) Clean, Eco-Friendly Energy
A solar power system, once assembled, produces no kind of pollution at all. It has to be said though, that some people are reluctant to have solar panels on their roof, because of the aesthetic impact they have. Also, the construction of piezoelectric (photovoltaic) power cells, a major component of many solar power systems, does entail some chemical and other pollution, though, of course, this will be marginal compared to the unwanted products of, for instance, coal fired power plants.
(3) Usable Amounts of Energy
This applies in most parts of the world, at most times of the year. Currently, even in dark and damp climates in northern America and Europe, solar power, has so far, always proved the most cost effective method of ‘green’ home energy generation for general use, except in very specific environmental situations (see ‘Wind Power Advantages’ for more on this).
Solar energy can be employed for a variety of quite specific purposes, as well as a means of generating energy for general use. For example, swimming pools are often heated via solar energy. When are swimming pools mostly used? In summer, and when is solar power most abundant? Again, in summer. The same pertains to heating indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis. Also, solar energy is increasingly employed in low-level lighting applications, such as small garden lamps to indicate paths, and some traffic signals. These applications do not consume large amounts of electricity, the sun during even the shortest winter’s day will provide enough, but the fact that this electricity is generated via panels ‘in situ’, means that power cables do not have to be laid, trenches dug, and so on.
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