Seems like everyone these days are talking about renewable energy, and the big name in renewable energy is solar energy. With the world’s oil reserves running out, we’ve got to do something quick or we’ll be left in the dark—literally!
Here are some quick facts about solar energy you might find useful in determining if solar energy is right for your home.
How Does Solar Energy Work?
There are two types of solar energy: thermal and light. Thermal (heat) energy is considered passive. This type of solar energy is harnessed through the design and materials used to construct a building. If you’ve ever seen a house built with a sun-porch on the south side, you’ve witnessed thermal solar energy at work. By planning your home’s construction with the sun in mind and by using energy efficient building materials like brick and stone, you can harness the thermal power of the sun.
The second type of energy produced by the sun is light. Light energy is not passive. You don’t just sit and soak up the rays. Instead, light is captured by solar panels and transformed into electricity to power your appliances, electric lights, and heat water for your home.
Why Use Solar Energy?
Most people consider using solar energy to save money on their gas and electric bills. True, there is an initial investment to be made with any solar energy system, but the long term savings in gas and electric costs far outweigh the initial system expense.
Of course the real reason to use solar energy is for its renewable, environmentally friendly properties. The earth’s supply of fossil fuels like oil and coal are not limitless. And don’t forget that their use contributes greatly to pollution problems, greenhouse gasses, and other environmental dangers. Global warming is a real threat, and solar energy is one of the only energy sources available that does not contribute to the problem.
The facts about solar energy are clear: It’s clean, renewable, and can save you thousands on your electric and gas bills every year.