Solar Power Energy for Sustainable Living


Solar power energy has been used for centuries to dray laundry, grow crops, and sustain life.  Increasingly now it is being used to create energy and generate electricity.  Solar energy is one of the free gifts of nature.  Its biggest advantage is it is renewable, and it is great in areas which receive a lot of sunlight and have poor power generating infrastructure.  The disadvantage of this system is that it cannot collect energy in the night, and it requires several collectors to generate a little bit of solar power energy.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar power energy can be harnessed by using solar cells, also known as Photovoltaic cells, which convert sun’s rays directly into electricity.  The power generated from such sources is used in satellites and for electrical appliances used in homes.  Solar water heating can be done in many ways.  One common method is to heat up solar panels on the roof which in turn heats water for home use.  Solar heating is created by heating up cold air through solar collectors and circulating the hot air in the rooms.  The hot air is circulated when the hot air rises, and the cool air enters the room and is heated through the solar collectors.  The air flow continues thus continuing to heat the air and circulate it.

For the average household, the main benefit of harnessing solar power energy is saving on electricity bills and creating an alternative system of power that can sustain during power outage. The other major benefit is the backup heaters that come handy to heat water during cloudy days.

With so many benefits, what is keeping solar power energy to be used in every household?  One of the disadvantages is the cost of a complete system. Presently, the system is not cost competitive on a standalone basis.   In residential areas where there is a grid tie up connection, solar power energy makes a lot of sense.  In off-grid areas, it is more advisable to use solar energy for street and garden lighting, highway call boxes, etc.

The increased usage of solar power energy will depend a lot on government policies and the incentives offered to encourage people to switch to solar energy.  Several countries have established attractive incentives for the development of solar and other renewable energy sources.  Direct subsidies to end users to offset costs of solar equipment and installation charges being one of the main incentives.