Are solar energy benefits really worth the large outlay needed to install solar in our homes? I used to wonder myself, but now I'm convinced.
As the price of power routinely increases every year, opening our electricity bill usually creates a sense of distress and almost panic. Now the media tells us that the electric provider has managed, yet again, to squeeze itself another price increase. Although leaving civilization and living in the forest is impossible, I have started to seriously consider the option of going solar. Is it truly plausible for me? My cynical spouse has warned me that this is too challenging an undertaking and that the expense may be greater than the solar energy benefits. So strong is my desire to prove her incorrect, that I underwent a quest to determine if it is really possible as well as cost effective to build a solar panel.
I've heard about wealthy homes which were so well equipped with solar the owners created revenue selling electricity to power companies (I wonder if the homeowners could vote themselves a price increase?) Picture my surprise to discover this is becoming a really workable business. We now have actually dozens of books out there helping individuals get around reselling electricity back to the electrical company.
I discovered that there's a world of difference between using the sun to produce heat, like warming the swimming pool, and taking advantage of the sun to create energy. Solar power generation is called photovoltaic, or PV, but harnessing the sun to create heat is known as thermal. Thermal is simpler compared to photovoltaic, but it won't produce any electricity. It will help, however, to warm your home or your pool, which is what has been happening in European countries for a while now.
President of European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), Olivier Dracke, says European countries have been capable of utilizing this kind of solar technology to substitute 15 percent of their home's heating and cooling. This is quite an accomplishment considering that 50 percent of most power in Europe is used for heating and cooling. This figure can be expected to rise over the next twenty years. Public credits can make the entire idea more attractive.
Are solar energy benefits similar here? According to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allows taxpayers" entitled to the federal renewable electricity production tax credit to take the federal business energy investment tax credit or to receive a grant from the US Treasury Department instead of taking the public tax credit for new installations. "The credit would average approximately 30 percent; however, taking into consideration solely heating expenses, the amount spent on solar power generation might quickly return to you within the few a few years ( 3 to 5 is actually typical).
Creating a solar panel isn't a thing to sit back and consider for too long, because many of these grant programs are scheduled to expire by October of 2011. Besides, exactly why would you want to continue forking over hundreds of dollars to your power company when doing your own solar power generation might keep that money in your pocket instead?