If you’ve been following the ongoing battle between solar energy vs. fossil fuels, it might seem like the predominant resources on which the global economy depends – oil, coal and natural gas – will be completely phased out of existence in 2017. In reality, these resources still power most of the planet, while renewable resources like solar and wind only contribute some two to three percent of global energy capacity. This reality check begs the following question: how does solar really stack up against fossil fuels, and why is there so much excitement about the growth of solar?
In an age of global climate change, people around the world are looking for ways to reduce their share of the some 15 trillion pounds of greenhouse gases emitted each year. In the United States, one of the top three polluters in the world, many Americans are looking into home energy solutions like energy efficient upgrades and solar installations. However, for some homeowners, the first question is “what is my carbon footprint, and what are the biggest contributing factors?” In this article we’ll answer the following questions:
- What lifestyle choices influence carbon footprint?
- How do I calculate my own carbon footprint?
- What are the best ways to reduce carbon footprint?
Do solar panels really save you money?
With so many trendy investment opportunities available in today’s day and age, it’s easy to be skeptical of new products that boast promises of “saving you tons of money.” Solar panels are no different – saving money through reducing your electric bill is one of the main appeals and selling points for solar as a product and home upgrade. The simple answer to the question “do solar panels really save you money?” is yes. That being said, how much you’ll save depends on a number of factors. Direct hours of daily sunlight and size and angle of roof are both important, but local electricity rates play the biggest role in determining how much solar can save you.
One of the most common questions we hear from homeowners considering a solar panel installation is, “how long will my solar panels last?” It’s hard to make sense of the upfront cost of going solar without knowing how long you can expect that small power plant on your roof to produce ample energy. Your solar panels will be able to offset your electricity use for decades, but it is also important to understand industry projections and degradation rate. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about solar panel lifespan. Continue reading
The PV world was ablaze this past week as early data from the solar industry’s third quarter of 2016 began to roll in. A record-breaking Q3 for solar, new clean energy legislation in Illinois and solar’s new milestone as the cheapest renewable resource in the world are the big stories we’re discussing in this week’s Solar Energy News report.
Solar energy is a win-win: in addition to its significant financial benefits, going solar is also great for the environment. When your solar panels generate electricity, they produce zero emissions, which means they don’t contribute to climate change or health issues like more traditional sources of energy. They also draw their energy from the sun, an abundant resource that will be available and accessible across the world for the foreseeable future. All that said, what you may not realize is that there is actually an environmental impact of solar energy too.