With the introduction of net metering and feed-in tariff (FIT) schemes, homeowners can now “sell” excess electricity, or receive bill credits, during times when they produce more electricity than what they actually consume.
7. Many Applications
Solar energy can be used for many different purposes. It can be used to generate electricity in places that lack a grid connection, for distilling water in Africa, or even to power satellites in space.
Solar power is also known as “The People`s Power”, which refers to how easily deployable solar panels are at the consumer level (both photovoltaic and solar thermal).
With the introduction of flexible thin-film solar cells, solar power can even be seemingly integrated into the material of buildings (building integrated photovoltaics) – Sharp, a solar panel manufacturer with headquarters in Japan, recently introduced transparent solar power windows.
Because of shading, insufficient space and ownership issues, 1/5 American homes are simply unfit for solar panels. With the introduction of shared solar, homeowners can subscribe to “community solar gardens”, and generate solar electricity without actually having solar panels on their own rooftops.
There are no moving parts involved in most applications of solar power. There is no noise associated with photovoltaics. This compares favorable to certain other green-techs such as wind turbines.
Government and state rebates have become available both on utility-scale and for the majority of homeowners. This means that the effective costs of solar panels are much less than what they used to be. In some cases, the price of a residential photovoltaic system can be cut more than 50%.
As of 12/31/2008, the U.S. government offers a 30% tax credit with no upper limit. Chances are your home is also eligible for other grants and rebates.
11. Low Maintenance
The majority of today`s solar power systems do not required a lot of maintenance. Residential solar panels usually only require cleaning a couple of times a year. Serious solar manufacturers ship 20- or 25-year warranties with their solar panels.
Technological advancements are constantly being made in the solar power industry. Innovation in nanotechnology and quantum physics has the potential to triple the electrical output of solar panels.