What Can California Teach Us About Solar Energy?

State leaders across the United States should aggressively encourage solar energy’s growth, mimicking California’s successful implementation of solar power. Embracing assertive goals for solar energy and adopting policies will help them meet that goal and achieve the desired outcome. California has successfully produced enough solar energy to power millions of homes, recently breaking records in terms of output.

By converting the energy produced by the sun into electricity, solar energy provides a renewable resource for energy consumption. Not only is it infinitely sustainable, but it significantly decreases expenditure required to heat water and provide lighting to millions of homes on an annual basis.

In addition to providing a cheap and sustainable source of usable energy, solar panels tend to require very little maintenance, meaning that once they are up and running their running costs are minimal. While the initial start up price for having solar panels installed can be off-putting to some, there are numerous grants and federal tax credits available for individuals and companies which help to greatly reduce the cost of installing solar panels..

Unfortunately, as with all forms of technology, the use of solar energy is not without its drawbacks. Solar power obviously cannot be created during the night. Since the energy requires the sun, cloudy days reduce the amount of power generated as well, but rarely to the point where the panels are rendered useless. Most modern solar systems have means of getting around such issues. They typically store surplus energy gathered during sunlight hours in batteries which are tapped into during times of low or no light, meaning a constant supply of hot water or electricity can be availed of.

In order to operate at their optimum levels of efficiency, solar panels need to be faced directly in the path of the sun. If these panels are in a fixed position then the energy output again decreases, this is because the sun finds itself in different position throughout the day, causing angles which may make the position less efficient at gathering the sun’s rays. It is possible to use solar trackers that will increase the energy output to make up for the sun’s changing position.

As the renewable energy industry is such a fast paced environment, there are advances being made seemingly every day in terms of solar technology that will likely see increasingly efficient types of solar energy systems created on a regular basis. Even though lower costs are attributed to solar energy, initial implementation can be quite substantial. People will eventually benefit after their investment, but many are reluctant to spend the required amount of money. This is something which solar panel suppliers will need to be mindful of if this form of sustainable energy is to ever fully reach its potential.

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