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Solar power is a clean and renewable source of energy that is increasing in popularity as the world struggles to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. While wind and hydroelectric power are limited to certain locations, solar power can simply be fitted to a building, reducing a business’ dependence on the local electricity supply. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to solar panels. Although very little energy in the United States comes from solar power, a thriving installation and maintenance sector has sprung up to supply homeowners and businesses with these products. At some point, every business will need to consider whether or not to invest in solar power.
Reduction in Energy Costs
Businesses and households can reduce their monthly energy bills substantially when they switch over to solar power. After making the initial investment in the purchase and installation of solar power equipment, the user can continue to receive the benefits of free solar power for years to come. The maintenance costs of the equipment are negligible, and the user gets freedom from grid power. Once the initial investment in solar panel systems is recovered, the user starts making net savings on energy costs.
In some areas, if the consumer is able to produce surplus power, it can be sold back to private grid power companies operating in the region. The consumer receives energy credits from the power companies in exchange for this surplus power. However, the use of solar power is still very limited among consumers. According to the New York Times, as of 2010, solar power still accounts for less than one percent of U.S. electricity consumption.
Protecting the Environment
Solar energy is a clean and renewable resource. Unlike conventional sources of electricity, solar power generation does not impact the environment adversely. It allows businesses to reduce their global carbon footprint, and sets a healthy trend of relying on green technology to run the business.
Large businesses can use solar panels to cut down on their dependence of the power grid. It is not necessary to switch over entirely to a solar source. A business or home can continue to maintain conventional sources of power simultaneously, which can still help to save the environment. The best part about solar energy systems is that they can be used to power small homes and businesses as efficiently as they can power large buildings, factories, and warehouses.
Positive Consumer Perception
One of the key benefits for businesses that project a green image by adopting solar power technology is that consumers perceive such businesses in a positive light. Consumers are increasingly in favor of patronizing companies that are socially and environmentally responsible. Even households that use solar power are likely to enjoy a positive response from the local community for their contributions to saving the environment.
In many countries around the world, governments are proactively promoting the use of solar energy. To encourage both business and home users to switch over to solar power, many state governments offer tax rebates and other incentives to solar energy users. This can add to the economic benefits of solar energy, apart from the low cost of producing such energy.
While there are benefits to installing these panels, such as saving on energy and taxes, there are some factors to consider prior to making a purchase.
While there are great tax incentives and rebates that are widely available to individuals and businesses who install solar panels, the initial costs are quite hefty. A 5,000-watt system can cost $30,000 to $50,000 to install. The average cost per watt is $9.00, and most homes need at least 3,000 to 8,000 watts to get sufficient electricity.
Solar energy can be used in most climates; however, the amount of hours that the sun is out determines how many panels you need and what the power wattage requirement will be. Solar panels need sunlight; big trees, large buildings, and inclement weather will directly impact the amount of sunlight your panels receive, which affects the amount of energy emitting into your home.
Solar panels have a reputation for being unsightly. Indeed, countless individuals throughout the United States are denied the opportunity to place solar panels on the roofs of their home by their town’s review board due to their appearance, according to Metro Green Business. Depending on where a person lives, they may be forbidden from installing solar panels on their homes or places of business.
Reliance on Stored Energy
At night, stored energy must be used, or individuals with solar panels must have an alternative energy system. It is not uncommon for individuals who use solar panels to have two or three backup systems. Solar panels will never work when the sun goes down, so the backup energy source must be reliable.
Solar power is quickly becoming a viable solution to the world’s energy needs. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar installations rose 81% between 2007 and 2008.
More Common than You Think
The technology behind solar energy has improved significantly in the last 20 years and also lowered in price. Considering the materials used, preparation, and installation, solar power conversion costs around $40,000 up front. Financing is often available due to the typically high initial cost of solar power materials and installation. Though, according to the New York Times, solar power accounts for less than 1% of U.S. electricity use, the U.S. government is offering tax breaks to homes and businesses that employ these panels.
As most businesses operate during the day, and consequently use the most energy during the day, solar power is a useful energy option for businesses and home owners. While there are many benefits, such as reducing energy costs, protecting the environment and even tax breaks, there are also a couple of pitfalls, such as the initial cost of the equipment and the aesthetics of the panels. However, as global energy prices rise and solar panels become more efficient, solar power will be viewed more and more as a viable energy option for the environmentally conscious business, as the current reliance on fossil fuels cannot last forever.
Companies throughout the country are relying on industrial solar supplies for a power source. Using solar panels is an excellent way for businesses to get the energy they need to run their industrial machinery at a much lower cost. After the initial investment involved with installing solar panels, companies have a free supply of energy. While many companies may not be able to use solar equipment as their only power supply, any use of solar energy saves a great deal of money in the long run.
Solar supplies used to be quite expensive and inefficient–especially those geared toward industrial use. But since they have been in use for decades, technology has greatly advanced and solar cells are much more cost effective. They now provide large amounts of energy for a lesser price. This is good news for industrial companies, as solar modules can now be installed to provide energy for large buildings.
Industrial solar supplies make for a very dependable energy source, as solar cells continually gather energy and store it in batteries to be used when needed. To learn more about implementing this type of power in your company, click on the links on the left. Gathered by Business.com, these links will provide you with the information you need on solar energy.
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