By Installing Solar Panels, You Can Save Money and Our Planet


Keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is getting tougher but more essential to the survival of the planet. Carbon dioxide is a significant contributor to the greenhouse effect. According to the EPA, 40% of CO2 emissions comes from the production of electricity.

We can significantly cut down the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by harnessing the sun's energy through the use of solar panels. In fact, more than 100,000 lbs of carbon dioxide could be kept out of the atmosphere in the next quarter century with the use of a 1.5 kilowatt PV solar system. Photovoltaics, or PV, is the method of converting the sun's rays into electricity by way of solar panels.

According to the Whitehouse Solar Progress Report, solar panels have dropped in price over the years by nearly 60%, making them even more economical and affordable. Accordingly, the PV system necessary for converting the sun's rays into energy has also dropped in price by about 50%. However, the cost of installation of a system will probably rise as these alternatives to electricity become more popular. 30 years ago it may not have been affordable to purchase the entire system needed to generate and use solar power. Today many homes and businesses can afford it and could be cutting back on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by switching to solar.

Whereas it was rarely an option many years back, now most home-builders are offering the inclusion of solar panels as a power system in new homes. They're lightweight and can be removed, and the system taken with you if you move out of the home. You can also start small with just a few panels and add to them as your budget allows. You may also get a state and federal tax break for installing a qualified solar system.

The best thing about this renewable source of energy is that it produces no pollutants and is a perfectly clean source of electricity. Not only can it be used for indoor and outdoor lighting, but also to heat water and swimming pools, cook food and operate appliances. It can even be used to power cars.

You can use either a stand alone solar system or one that's tied to a grid. The stand-alone systems cost more due to the need for batteries, a control panel, and a generator. One that's tied into a grid doesn't need these extra costs and any excess power not needed is put back into the grid. A family can save a lot of money on power bills by investing in solar energy.

The further you live from the equator, the more panels you may need to generate the same amount of power as that of someone closer to the equator. The more daylight and sun your area gets, the more power generated.

Greenhouse gas is something we should all be concerned about and something we can all work to lessen. Going solar is an important step in the right direction. There is so much energy emanating from the sun that just one hour of its powerful lifeblood sent to us is more than Earth's entire population uses in a single year. Why have we waited so long to harness that energy and protect our planet's atmosphere?