There is no doubt in everyone’s mind that rising energy costs in the past couple of years have made life a bit harder, add to that the still lingering effects of the recent economic crisis. If you are reeling from the high cost of living nowadays, then you should try using residential solar power systems to ease a lot of the financial burden off of your shoulders.
There is no denying that residential solar power is rapidly gaining popularity these days. The reasons for this rapid growth are the rising costs of conventional energy, and the great advances in photovoltaic cell technology. In the past, solar cells were huge and bulky, expensive to produce, and they were not that efficient in gathering power from the sun; you had to cover your entire roof with solar panels if you want to make a significant dent in your electric bill.
Nowadays, solar panels are so thin and light that they can actually be folded up and transported quite easily. Solar power systems have also become much cheaper to produce, making them more affordable for common homeowners. You can actually buy a complete residential solar power system for a couple thousand dollars, and to make things even better, you can expect a return on your investment within a year thanks to the savings that you will be getting.
Anti-solar power sentiments
You might think that no one in their right mind would be averse to using solar power and other renewable energy sources to light up their homes, but surprisingly, there are a good number of people who are “anti-solar” so to speak.
The most common argument that these anti-renewable energy folks use these days is the mess that the Spanish government has found itself in quite recently. They say that it is thanks to their extensive use of solar power that Spain is now buried under a huge amount of debt (almost 3 billion Euros). What the anti-solar power groups fail to realize is the reason why Spain got into this huge financial mess is not just because of their over-eagerness to employ green energy, but rather because of poor financial planning and accounting.
When the Spanish government offered huge subsidies for individuals and companies to use solar power, they failed to predict just how many people were going to take them up on their offer. This massive influx of people and companies who wanted to cash out on solar power caused the government to create a huge deficit in their coffers – and this is the reason why the Spanish government is considering taxing solar power. They merely want to recoup the money that they unwisely over subsidized, and it is by no means the fault of solar power systems.
Another reason why some people are not warming up to the idea of using solar power is because they believe that it would lead to massive lay-offs because power plants and coal mining operations to shut down. Of course it is unavoidable for conventional power production to shut down when people start to embrace the use of renewable energy; but that does not necessarily lead to mass layoffs.
According to recent economic studies, more jobs are actually produced by renewable energy producers than those released by conventional power producing companies. This means that renewable energy can actually help ease the unemployment rate, not contribute to it.
Cost of residential solar power systems
Now that you have broadened your knowledge about residential solar power, you may want to know more about how much it would actually cost you to have it installed in your home.
There are a couple of things that you need to take into consideration before you can even get a ballpark figure on the cost of having solar power systems installed, including, but not limited to:
Amount of energy your household consumes
You should take note of how much energy you and your family consumes every month. Residential solar power systems can only produce a limited amount of power, so if your household is a heavy electricity consumer, you need to spend a lot of money on multiple solar panels if you want to get “off the grid”. If you want to cut back on costs, then you might want to implement energy saving measures to cut back on your power consumption.
Are you currently situated in an area where the sun shines almost all year round? If you are then you can certainly make the most use of residential solar power systems. Now, if you live in a part of the country where it is considered lucky to have a couple of months of clear, sunny weather every month, then you might want to reconsider using solar power.
Amount of space available
Residential solar power systems require a lot of space for installation, so you need to make sure that you have enough in your property. If you feel like the look of solar panels on your roof is against your design ideals, then you can have them mounted on a steel frame and have it installed somewhere else in your property; however this does take up a lot of real estate so you need to make sure that you have enough open areas in your land.
Fortunately, recent advances in technology have made residential solar power systems more affordable, so you do not really have to shell out as much money now as compared to five or ten years ago. Solar panels and storage batteries have also become more efficient in drawing out the power of the sun and storing it for use later; and if you can apply strict measures to reduce electricity use in your household it is possible for you to be entirely self-sufficient when it comes to electricity.
There are many advantages and benefits to using residential solar power systems, the main reason why not more people are switching to this form of power production is that they are yet to be fully-convinced of the cost effectiveness of it all. After reading this, hopefully you have gained enough information about residential solar power and are now ready to make the transition to using clean, and sustainable energy.