Why are more and more homeowners turning their interest towards the idea of solar panels and often adding wind turbines as well?
In this time of economic insecurity people are looking to become self-sufficient, people who have solar energy don't worry about when the next blackout hits. Second or maybe first is saving money and then there is the reason that sits high with many and that is taking that step towards a green planet.
Electricity From the Wind
When the wind blows the blades spin the wind turbine, which in turn makes electricity. A small windmill won't run the whole house but it can be hooked into the electric panel for the house as a power source so it uses less from the power companies.
The giant windmills seen along highways are referred to as "wind farms" for harvesting the wind. They are providing a new source for jobs and bringing needed power to our cities.
Small homemade windmills are being used on farms and backyards and a few roofs of homes in mostly rural areas. Placing a wind turbine or generator on the roof is not recommended due to weight-bearing factors. Height is important for getting a steady wind current. Be prepared to build a tall sturdy tower for your wind turbines.
Likewise with the discovery of the photovoltaic effect, which is the production of electricity from the sun, solar panels have only gotten more efficient at using the sun's power that it is another source of energy to provide the home's power needs. With enough solar panels to generate power to the home often there is an excess that the power company has to pay the homeowner for the electricity. Now that sounds nice.
Governments and Alternative Energy
Apparently, the satellites that orbit the earth operate solely from solar cells as well as buoys, lighthouses and warning signs on the highway. Surprisingly, many countries have been using solar energy for more than 50 years.
On Sept. 7, 2011, the Department of Energy issued a $ 340 million loan guarantee to SolarCity and US Renewables Group Renewable Finance and Bank of America Merrill Lynch's $ 1 billion SolarStrong project, which will put solar on the homes for service members living on base across all branches of the US military.
Under the project, 160,000 homes on military bases will have solar systems under the SolarStrong project, which will likely be the largest residential project in the world.
Available and Affordable?
Does this mean that we are moving forward to having solar panels on every roof in the US and the world?
That will depend on the the ability of homeowners to afford the cost of professional installation which can run anywhere from $ 6,000 to $ 20,000 according to the home's need and size.
An alternative is DIY method, buying online manuals with step by step video instructions for building your own solar panels and wind turbines. The money it costs plus the materials is a fraction of what professional installers are charging. Besides it is a great project that sends a message to friends and family that this homeowner wants a green planet.
According to experts, a professionally installed solar system will last for 20 years or more and the Do It Yourself panels last about 6 to 8. With extra consideration given to protecting the panels from the elements the homemade ones can last even longer.
This is a subject that continues to bring hope for a country so dependent on non-renewable sources like oil, coal and natural gas.
Here we have a renewable resource, call it Infinite Energy, where the sun keeps on shining and the wind is still blowing over mountains and down through the valley floor.