Solar energy can be broken down into two categories; solar electric and solar thermal. Solar electric consists of photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) that produces electricity. Solar thermal technologies capture the sun's thermal energy for water or space heating.
Installation of solar panels (a photovoltaic or PV system) can produce numerous benefits to an individual, business, or community, ranging from lowered and secured energy costs to reduced environmental impact. Additional attributes of photovoltaic modules include low or zero noise, high durability and reliability, simplicity of operation, low maintenance and high power quality. The distributed nature of solar power minimizes transmission line losses, and provides maximum production at times of peak demand. Solar also emits no carbon dioxide.
What is it, how much is there, and how can we use it?
When considering the installation of a solar electric system or a solar thermal system on your home or business, there are several factors that should be evaluated, including solar access, utility cost and use, incentives and the cost of the system.
Contact your electric provider or a solar contractor for more information on your electric rate structure, how much energy you use, and how a solar photovoltaic system could affect your monthly bill.