Solar Electricity: An Alternative Energy Source

With increasing oil prices, the pollution wrought by the BP Oil Spill, we have to look for alternative energy sources that are renewable. With climate change causing polar ice caps to melt and severe weather conditions, moves must be made to make the world less reliant on fossil fuels such as oil and coal. Fossil Fuels took millions of years to form, but power plants and vehicles are siphoning these resources off with demand for electricity that continues to increase every year. Dwindling supply and rising demands are expected to increase its prices, while emissions from the use of fossil fuels will further pollute the atmosphere.

To reduce reliance on fossil fuels, alternative sources of energy are continually being developed. Among these are electricity generated from wind, geothermal energy, water, biofuels, biomass, and solar electricity. However, the alternative energy sources are still more costly to implement using current technologies compared to fossil fuels. Research and development continues to make these feasible sources of energy. There are already large-scale successes in the implementation of power plants relying on renewable energy sources. Examples would be the Roscoe wind farm in Texas that is able to generate 780 MW, The Geysers geothermal plants in California, and solar electricity from the Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) in the Mojave Desert. While wind farms and geothermal plants are large-scale in nature. Solar power is more modular, whose scalability ranges from the SEGS in the Mojave desert, to do-it-yourself solar panels that can be installed in homes.

Solar electricity is produced by solar or photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert the sun’s light into direct current (DC) electricity. Since most of the appliances require alternating current, an inverter is used to transform the DC electricity from solar cells. The small solar cells are grouped together to form a solar panel. The solar panels can then be connected together to form an array, the larger it is, the bigger the electricity that it can generate. The panels can be connected in series or in parallel depending on the need. A solar panel can generate enough electricity to power up light bulbs or heat water. Although an initial investment has to be made in the purchase of the solar panel, it would aid a little to minimize electric bills.

To have a bigger impact on your electricity bill, additional solar panels would have to be installed, but this would require more space that is not an option for most of us. Another option is to replace the roof with PV or solar tiles, which can turn your roof into one big solar panel, allowing you to cut your electric bills from 75% to 100%. Although the cash layout is bigger, as substantial amount is needed for the installation, the electricity bill that would go down dramatically for years to come would make it worth the money and effort. The impact on the environment however, should be more than enough reason to go for solar electricity. Making electricity clean and renewable for our children and children’s children.

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Nick Morgan is an authority as regards solar electricity panels. To get the information on as much as possible with regards to solar panels, visit the online site at –