As we move away from greenhouse gas emissions and toward a cleaner and greener future, there are many renewable energy options we can pursue. One of the most well-known forms of renewable energy is solar energy. Here’s a look at how it works and why it can be an excellent choice for your energy needs!
How Does Solar Energy Work?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source that harnesses the power of the sun to generate electricity. It works by using solar panels made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells. PV cells are composed of semiconductor materials that absorb the energy of sunlight and transfer it to electrons that flow through the material to create electricity. Conductive metal contacts then extract that electric current for use in powering your house and electric grid.
Benefits and Uses of Solar Power
One of the main advantages of solar energy is that it’s a clean and renewable energy source. Unlike fossil fuels, which release harmful emissions into the atmosphere when burned, solar energy does not produce any pollution or greenhouse gasses. This makes it a much more sustainable and environmentally friendly option for generating electricity.
On top of being environmentally friendly, solar energy is friendly to your wallet, too. Using solar energy in your home or business can result in financial returns and lower monthly utility bills. It can also increase the value of your home, making solar power a fantastic long-term investment for homeowners.
Solar energy is also very efficient, with solar panels able to convert up to 22% of the energy they receive from the sun into electricity. This means that, depending on your location, solar power can easily generate enough electricity to power your home or business. In Colorado, for example, 86% of buildings are considered “solar-viable,” with the capacity to produce 24.7 million megawatt hours each year.
Check out the graphic below for an idea of how much power that is:
Additionally, solar energy can be used for a variety of other applications, such as heating water for domestic use, drying clothes, and powering streetlights. It can even be used to power vehicles, with companies like Tesla and Rivian developing solar-powered cars and trucks.
Using Solar Power for Your Home or Business
Solar energy is a promising and increasingly popular renewable energy source that has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our reliance on fossil fuels. It is an important part of the transition to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.
Fortunately, solar energy has also become more affordable! Here in Colorado, the cost of solar installation has dropped 52% in the last decade. There are also many options for financial assistance to help you make the change to renewable energy, including our services! With over 300 days of sun each year, Colorado is a prime location for solar energy usage.
Interested in switching to solar for your home or business? We want to help! At the Colorado Clean Energy Fund, we support Coloradoans in their efforts to transition to clean energy. We use the tools we have as a green bank to break down the financial barriers that inhibit access to clean energy for communities across the state. Explore our products and programs here to see how we can help you reach a solar-powered and sustainable future.