WHY SOLAR ENERGY?
Solar energy is clean, abundant and renewable. In fact, more energy from the sun reaches the earth in one hour than is used by everyone in the world in one year (see References 1). Today’s technology and improvements to building strategies allow you to maximize the sun’s benefits. Increase the energy efficiency of your home, reduce your environmental impact and enjoy annual energy savings in home utility costs by implementing active or passive solar power systems.
In 2011, the International Energy Agency said that “the development of affordable, inexhaustible and clean solar energy technologies will have huge longer-term benefits. It will increase countries’ energy security through reliance on an indigenous, inexhaustible and mostly import-independent resource, enhance sustainability, reduce pollution, lower the costs of mitigating climate change, and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise. These advantages are global. Hence the additional costs of the incentives for early deployment should be considered learning investments; they must be wisely spent and need to be widely shared”
Photovoltaics convert sunlight directly into electricity. Roof-mounted solar panels face south, or panels on tracking devices follow the sun. Home PV systems may be off-grid or grid-tied. Off-grid systems are independent of other power sources and often charge batteries for use when the sun is not shining. Grid-tied systems connect to the existing utility grid and offset the cost of utility bills. PV technologies are becoming more affordable with increased demand, government incentives and new financing programs.