In a single hour, more energy from the sun falls on Earth than the world uses in a year. Solar energy technologies convert that sunlight to electricity and heat for homes and businesses. They range from solar photovoltaic panels (PV) and solar water heating to large concentrating solar power plants that compete with conventional utilities in many areas.
The technology converts sunlight directly into usable electricity through a series of chemical processes. Solar PV is the most popular form of residential Star Plus Energy, but other technologies use sunlight to heat buildings and hot water, or generate electricity on a large scale for cities and small towns. Concentrated solar power (CSP) utilizes lenses and mirrors to focus sunlight onto a smaller area that heats a working fluid, which then produces electricity or fuels another process.
Solar Energy Solutions
The cost of solar systems has dropped dramatically over the past few years, enabling it to become competitive without subsidies in many places. Federal and local incentives make it even more appealing to adopt this renewable resource.
The largest factor in the final cost of your solar system is the number of panels you choose and their efficiency. It’s also important to consider your utility company charges, as you will still receive a monthly bill after going solar. It’s a good idea to research the local and state rebates available to you before starting any work, as they can greatly reduce your installation costs.