WOW! We are almost all in agreement about at least one form of renewable energy; ninety per cent of Americans think that builders should be offering the option of solar power in new homes.
For those unsure of the term: solar power is the term used to describe the resulting energy from the conversion of sunlight into electricity. In order to do this, the sunlight must first be ‘captured’.
Because there is always (so far!) sunlight, this is called a renewable source of energy. This means once we have perfected the technique to turn the sunshine into electric power, we can always use that technique as there is always sunlight and it is always free.
Solar energy in a primitive form has been used for centuries by various civilizations. Nowadays with technology at such a sophisticated level, solar power can be used to provide heating, lighting and electricity.
Water heating is easy to install in new homes as the panels for it are usually placed right in the roof. Believe it or not, America first had solar water heaters as early as 1890! In many climates the sun can provide up to 75% of domestic water usage, so it makes sense to build these units into new homes.
The more people that request the option of solar power in their homes, the more mainstream it will become. A builder can often just install the pre-wire kit during construction, so that it is easy for the owner to add on the panels later, if desired.
Solar power also saves the home owner from paying large electricity bills, as the domestic electric power will only kick in when the solar power has been used up. Increasing energy costs make solar power look attractive – apart from the fact that it contributes to a healthier planet.
Due to the steadily gaining popularity of solar power, the price of panels is predicted to be halving within the next five years. Many states offer generous subsidies and rebates to assist the American home owner in making the right choices about energy and there are also federal incentives to look into.
Designs are becoming more and more attractive as the market expands. Whereas once solar power gave a home the look of having something stuck on your roof, nowadays designs can actually enhance the look of a home.
Israel leads the world for total percentage of domestic use, with 90% of its homes using solar power. China, with its large population deploys 80 % of the market share of solar hot water systems. In USA solar power is most popularly used for heating swimming pools.
Internationally, the use of solar power in swimming pools and low temperature applications such as domestic hot water and space heaters, is the most common usage, this is because the power is most naturally converted into heating.
In fact, solar power has been used to power a car that ran for over 3,000 kilometers (in Australia) and a boat that crossed the Atlantic (in UK). Solar energy has also been used to cool houses and to cook with. However, by far the most acceptable method of using it at the moment is solar water heating.
There are many American companies listed on the Internet if you wish to find out how your home would convert to solar power.