Live Green – The Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy Home Systems

If you want to reduce the use of natural resources while doing something good for the environment then solar energy home systems may be right for you.Can there be a case made for the broad the use of solar energy home systems? Is it a viable alternative or is it a supplement to the power supplied to us by our utilities? Can I save money and if so will it be enough to recover the cost of installation? These are just some of the questions that are being asked even today after solar energy systems have been around for years.Here are the pros of investing in solar energy home systems.· Solar energy is renewable and available and there are at least two other forms of renewable energy that nature provides and they are water and wind. All of which appear to be equally renewable and great alternatives to fossil fuel generated power. What makes solar energy the most desirable source of renewable energy for the home is that it doesn’t require complicated delivery system or grid to provide power to your home. It’s already there!· Solar energy home systems give off no emissions. Fossil fuels release carbon dioxide emissions into our atmosphere. According to the EPA, traditional methods of producing electricity generating more than 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year per household. Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. The combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity is the largest single source of CO2 emissions in the United States.· Solar energy home systems are scalable to meet your needs and budget. These systems can be built to provide power as a backup system for an appliance or pump, a remote utility shed, a supplement to your homes current power grid or to power your entire home. This flexibility allows you to jump right in, or experiment with different applications and/or power levels to reach your projected needs. As needs change so can you change your system. This also helps you when budgeting for a project.· Solar energy home systems save money by producing electricity without ongoing costs. The sun’s energy is free!· Solar energy home systems can be purchased and installed by a contractor or assemble and installed by a homeowner. Similar quality levels can be achieved with either choice.· There are tax credits available for qualified installations.Here are the cons that might make you want to modify or hold off on purchasing solar energy home systems.· Solar energy home systems initial cost can be high. To install a whole home system is a similar investment to remodeling the kitchen so you have to be in a situation where you can get a return on your investment. Initial cash outlay can easily be over $20,000 for an entire home. Significantly less if you’re a do-it-yourselfer and have time to dedicate to the project.· Tax credits are not available on homemade solar panel systems.· Location matters and affects your final cost. A home located in the Sun Belt will collect twice the energy in one day of the same panel located in New England as an example. Climate conditions such as cloud cover and hours of daylight or shade need to be taken into consideration on calculating system needs.· Solar energy home systems cannot collect energy at night. This is less of an issue if your plan is to supplement an existing power supply but if you have a more ambitious solar energy plan you will need to have storage for the energy to carry you through the night.Conclusion: If money is no object or you are willing to build it yourself with a guide; or have a desire to make a difference by reducing your impact on the environment you really have no choice. You can take a big step in and attempt to replace the traditional system or scale it back to provide you with a backup system or supplemental system. All of which can help you meet your goal. For everyone else, maybe waiting a year or two will make a difference. As technology improves, two things tend to happen. The product gets better and more efficient and shortly after the price comes down as innovation and efficiencies gained momentum. Either way I think this renewable source of energy is here to stay.