How does Solar help your energy efficiency?
February 7, 2022 • DE Energy
Solar energy is the fastest adopted renewable technology in the last decade. Solar, along with other renewable energy sources like wind, hydropower, biomass are expected to replace coal-based electricity production in the next 50 years. Governments and private corporations are investing heavily in renewable energy projects.
Solar gained popularity since it can be used both for private and commercial use. The other sources can only be installed on a large scale, while a solar panel can be used at home just to heat up the water. It’s versatile and convenient. Additionally, they help save energy that would have been consumed from the grid. But how exactly does Solar improve your energy efficiency?
The inner workings of Solar Energy:
Let us first understand how solar energy works to understand how it helps save energy. Solar energy is captured from the sun’s light. The installed solar panel collects the energy from the light. It then converts it into heat and electricity to power your home.
There are 2 main ways how it converts solar power.
Photovoltaic Conversion: This is the most common form of energy conversion. It is a direct conversion that uses solar panels. The panels absorb the light and convert it into electricity.
Solar Thermal Conversion:This is an indirect form of conversion and is used in heat generation. It is slowly gaining popularity. It uses a thermal collector. It generates heat to warm up water or your entire home, using just solar power.
With solar panels, your dependency on the national electricity grid is significantly reduced. The power generated by solar is clean owing to zero emissions. The energy can be stored in batteries and used during times of power cuts. This promotes energy independence and is vital in regions that are located away from the power grid.
Solar Panel Installation:
The initial costs of setting up a solar panel at home might seem expensive. But rest assured, it will pay back eventually in savings on your power bill. But not everyone has the funds for it. Here is where the government comes in with free installation schemes. It technically works with you renting out your terrace to the government.
You rent your roof out to the solar infrastructure suppliers free of cost. They take all the Feed-in-Tariff for the next 20 years. The Feed-in-Tariff is the money paid by the government for the excess electricity produced by Solar power that is fed back into the grid, post-consumption. The government sets a rate and pays for each unit that is exported back into the grid. This is measured with the use of smart meters. This is in the long-term plans. For now, it is estimated that around 50% of the power from solar energy is exported back. This is a tremendous amount that reduces the pressure on coal-based thermal power production.
Although, you cannot benefit from the direct monetary benefit, you can still save on your power bill. When calculated over 20 years, especially with rising power costs, this could be a substantial savings. You don’t have to worry about the maintenance either, the cost is borne by the suppliers themselves.
Solar energy is one of the cleanest modes of power and heat production. It is completely emission-free. There are no greenhouse gases or other harmful emissions that pollute the atmosphere or water. With that solar panel, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 80% in just one year.
You reduce your dependence on the national power grid. You use less energy from the power grid. You can even store power in solar batteries. This power can be used in the nighttime to run your home, even when there is no sunlight.
The power source is entirely renewable and is available in plenty every day. In countries like India that are tropical, there is no dearth of sunlight. We can utilize the potential forever, or at least till the sun dies out. Fossil fuels are unsustainable and we will run out of them soon. Even now they are the major cause of all forms of air and water pollution.
They also require little maintenance. Heaters like gas boilers break down often, need new parts, and require a lot of invasive repairs. They are expensive in the long run. They also emit a lot of polluting gases, which is not good for the environment. It is also harmful to people living in the house. The manufacturing of solar panels does produce some waste. However, their impact gets mitigated by its long-term benefits.
The infrastructure investment in India is shifting towards clean energy projects. Every year there are new subsidies and reliefs offered to individuals and firms that support green energy. This is also in accordance with the NDC’s submitted by the countries in the Paris Agreement.