Using residential solar panels helps your household reduce its carbon footprint. As you already know, solar has no carbon footprint. Solar energy is also renewable and sustainable.
The only possible carbon footprint that solar panels have is when they are being produced at the production line. However this is very small compared to the electricity they generate over their lifespan.
Most energy sources are burnt to generate electricity. Each resource produces different amounts of carbon under combustion. The worst of these is coal. They are known to harm the environment in many ways. Unfortunately the United States depends on coal to produce more than half of its electricity.
It is estimated that the average annual carbon dioxide emissions per person in the United States is 20 metric tons. Compared to the world average of four tons, we are really consuming lots of energy even though we do not know it.
At home, we are also using more energy than we realize. This is due to transmission line inefficiencies. Long lengths of transmission cable encourage electrical resistance. Thus the power station has to generate more energy than what we need.
By the time electricity reach our houses, a part of it has already been lost through Joule heating (this is also known as Ohmic heating or resistive heating). Therefore if we consume only 3 kWh of energy, the power station may have to generate 9 kWh in order to compensate for the loss.
We can all do our part to reduce our carbon footprint by using solar power. It is a misconception that we need to raise at least fifteen thousand dollars before we are able to use solar energy. It is true that it takes quite a bit of money to install photovoltaic panels on our roofs. But we can all start with solar heaters, which are relatively inexpensive.
Solar heaters use solar energy instead of electricity to heat up water or air. Thus it leaves no carbon footprint.
If you want to use PV panels, you can install a few pieces first. This lowers your initial outlay. Then when you have the cash (or have your loan approved), you can buy the rest of the PV panels to generate more electricity.
In fact, on a clear sunny day, 1 kWh per square meter of solar energy falls on the Earth. Most commercial silicon solar cells only have an average of 15 percent efficiency. Thus most of these energy is yet to be harvested using today’s technology. But there is a lot of potential in solar technology.
With better engineering, residential solar panels may double its efficiency, making them more affordable. This will help many homeowners use solar energy on a daily basis. As a result, there is a chance we can permanently reduce our carbon footprint.