Solar Energy Facts

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You probably have a lot of questions about solar energy. I probably won’t be able to answer them all in this video, but I’ll give you some basic facts so you can get a better idea of how it may be useful to you in everyday life. But, you should be aware that there are both positive and negative facts about solar energy to consider.

Let’s start with the answer to a basic question: what is solar energy.

Solar energy comes from the light of the sun, not from heat. so even cold climates can produce power when the sun is shining.

One of the most interesting positive facts about solar energy is its huge potential. The amount of sunlight that comes to earth in a single day – if it could be harnessed – would supply all the electricity needs for every human being on the planet for an entire year. Also, solar is a renewable energy resource that will last for a couple billion more years. We never run out.

One of the most important facts about solar energy is that it doesn’t hurt the atmosphere. It doesn’t pollute or generate carbon dioxide, which a lot of people believe is changing global climate – and not for the better.

There’s also no noise pollution with solar energy. Electricity is created silently when sunlight hits a solar panel. The sunlight reacts with materials in the panel to produce an electrical charge. This charge can be converted to direct current (DC) to be used in homes. If a home with solar panels generates more power than the home uses, the homeowner may even be able to sell some of the excess to a power company for use on its electrical power grid.

Electricity created by home solar energy can be used in dozens of ways – just like electricity from the power company. Heating water, running appliances and providing light are all possibilities for home solar energy. By making your home energy independent in this way, you also make your country more energy independent – freeing it from the need to import oil from other countries. When you have home solar energy, you don’t need to worry about power outages – or rate increases by your utility company.

Another of the more interesting facts about solar energy is its potential in the transportation industry, although admittedly, practical solar applications for mass transit in the U.S. are probably years away. Solar technology for cars has been developed, but it’s not nearly advanced enough for the needs of modern vehicles yet. However, it’s interesting to note that a couple of years ago a small aircraft powered strictly by solar energy flew across the entire United States.

So those facts are about solar energy that sound positive and promising, But there are other facts that you need to understand..

For one thing, solar panels take up a lot of space. That means solar energy “farms” would have to be huge to provide a significant percentage of a large city’s electricity supply.

There’s also large investment or up front cost to installing solar – especially in a home. It can take years to recover your investment, even though solar equipment is nearly maintenance-free once it’s installed. Plus, some geographical areas are more suited to solar power than others. If you live in an area where it’s gets cloudy a lot, solar energy may not be sufficient for your needs. Furthermore, your output from solar panels will be reduced if they are shaded by trees or other structures.