Do I Need A lot Of Sunshine For Solar Power To Work?
As the environment continues to become a growing concern amongst the general population, many are wondering what they can do to live more sustainable and greener lives, so as to reduce their burden on the planet and help reduce the impacts of climate change. One of the biggest things that can be done to reduce the burden of one’s life on the environment is to invest in alternative energy. Research into solar power has been at an all time high in recent years, and with this increase in research has come amazing advancements in the efficiency, space needed, and ways in which solar power can be useful for home electricity.
Cost of Solar on the Decline
In the past, one of the biggest impediments to the expansion of the use of solar power was the cost. As the cost of non-renewable energy becomes more expensive – due to both new environmental regulations and supply and demand issues – the gap between the cost of solar power and the cost of traditional, non-renewable sources of energy has been decreasing.
Improvements in the efficiency and storage capacity of solar panels, along with improvements in utilizing solar power even from just small amounts of sunlight, have really brought about drastic changes to the solar market. Researchers are also working with newer, less expensive material, that takes up less space. What this all boils down to is better technology that is more efficient, but also less expensive. As we learn how to create more cost effective arrays, that take up less space and produce more energy even in a smaller area, the more affordable they become to the average person.
The Sunlight Question
One of the most common questions associated with solar power is “don’t I have to live somewhere that gets a ton of sunlight for this to work?” The answer is, frustratingly, yes and no. The more sunlight you have, the more energy you have the ability to capture and turn into energy. But new panel design and improvements in technology have made it entirely possible for those who live in places that do not have sunshine everyday of the year, to have a functioning solar array.
There are solar arrays that are designed to work in lower lighting. There are also new technologies like light concentration systems and automatic sun trackers that help to make the most out of the sun that you do get. All of these things make solar more feasible, even in areas that do not receive more days of sunshine a year than not.
How it stands, those who live in sun rich areas are going to derive the most utility from having a solar array. Even though there have been improvements in the technology, and there are ways of making the most out of the sun we get, an average house’s energy needs are likely to be beyond the reach of a solar array, no matter how efficient, in an less than sunny place. Technologies have been rapidly increasing in this field, and they are likely to continue, so we may see technologies in the future that are able to collect even indirect sunlight to generate electricity, making this technology truly feasible for all.