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 Solar Energy - Environmental & Economic Implications

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FleurDeLis
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PostSubject: Solar Energy - Environmental & Economic Implications   Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:23 am

Solar Energy

Our sun provides us with the most abundant resource to create alternative energy. Sun-light! This resource is not bound to our planet, nor is it non-renewable; therefore, we can exploit it beyond what’s necessary. Even “if we eventually have to get of this rock (earth)”, like my husband likes to say, we can utilize solar-energy.

Every year, the sun beams 1,000 kilowatt of potential energy on every square-meter of earth’s surface. This energy potential is equal to 100 liters of fossil fuel, or 100 cubic meters of natural gas. Furthermore, solar energy is free of emissions.

Solar energy can be harnessed as heat to warm water or heating units in houses (solar-collectors), but in can also be converted to electricity (photovoltaic modules). The growing research in the field of solar-energy (especially in Europe) has contributed to the effectiveness of harnessing the energy, as well as reducing the cost factor. Approximately 800,000 solar collectors are installed on German rooftops, 100,000 were added in 2005 alone; in recent years, 200,000 photovoltaic modules have been added as well. The cost has decreased about seventy percent since 1990 and the future trend is downwards. Germany is working to achieve thirty percent of total electricity coverage through solar power within the near future.

The reasons for this promising development is a government enacted law from 2000 that favors alternative energies. From 2000 to 2005, the solar related economy marked an increase from 450 million to 3.7 billion, created 5,000 businesses and 42,500 jobs. Projections for 2020 estimate an increase of jobs to 255,000, and an economic worth increase to 24 billion. Solar energy is economically feasible.

We cover up earth’s surfaces either ways, be it through houses, or streets, or any other construction. Installing solar panels on rooftops would be a way to give purpose to the excess coverage we produce. Solar energy is powerful, as well as abundant, and the growing research will allow us to use it even more efficiently. As Germany and other countries illustrate, alternative energy does not have to impact the economy in a negative way; quite the contrary actually, it can boost the economy.
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Oliver

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Energy - Environmental & Economic Implications   Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:20 pm

I found this solar panel on Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-50022-Battery-Trickle-Charger/dp/B0006JO0TC/ref=sr_1_2?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1340159174&sr=1-2

It is pretty much like the one I purchased (5W) ten years ago and actually more expensive. I think I only paid $40 for mine.
What is a 5W panel good for?
Pretty much nothing. I was able to charge a battery and power a small TV with it, maybe a laptop or a cell phone.
It is a major investment to power your entire house in the US with solar....I'm guessing around $100k for a small house without running the heater or A/C, and the batteries will have to be replaced after a while.
My electric bill is only about $1500/year right now.
Solar at this moment in the US, doesn't sound like a good investment.

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FleurDeLis
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PostSubject: Re: Solar Energy - Environmental & Economic Implications   Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:18 am

Wow, 100,000$ ? That's a lot ... In Germany it's only about 20,000€ to get both, heat and electricity.
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GenericTylerDurden

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Energy - Environmental & Economic Implications   Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:01 pm

i haven't researched, but I heard there might be some tax incentives.... homeowner or small businesses? to install these? at what price point would make it affordable/feasible/worth-it ????
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FleurDeLis
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PostSubject: Re: Solar Energy - Environmental & Economic Implications   Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:16 pm

I think 30,000 would be reasonable, maybe even 40,000 or more; it depends on where you live. Electricity prices are going up constantly and solar hardware has a durability of 20-25 years (manufacturer warranty). I pay 150$ on average per month for electricity here in small town Texas ... That's about 1800$ a year x 20 = 36000$; x 25 = 45000$ and that does not include rising electricity prices. If you consider that you can sell excess solar energy to the grid, solar would be significantly cheaper. Add tax breaks and you save even more.
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