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solar energy
renewable energy source
hot water systems
using solar energy
solar hot water systems
federal incentives
solar hot water
Why Solar Energy
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Thinking about going solar?

Installing solar panels or shingles on your home or commercial property is a great way to save on your utility bills, guarantee a fixed energy rate, cut harmful pollution from fossil fuels and become more energy independent. It's also more efficient to produce energy near where it is used. Solar energy is the cleanest renewable energy source available. Albert Einstein's only Nobel Prize was awarded for his work in solar power research.

Solar energy can be produced on a distributed basis, with equipment located on rooftops or on ground-mounted fixtures close to where the energy is used. You should have a span of open rooftop space or land that is free of shade for at least 5 hours a day. Rooftops work best if facing south, but your installer can likely set your panels at an angle to capture enough sun from other direction.

The energy crisis of the 1970s saw the beginning of major interest in using solar energy for power, but high prices (about 30 times that of current prices) made large scale applications too expensive. Solar hot water systems were more cost-effective, and many still operate decades later on homes across the nation.

Today, solar energy is the fastest growing energy technology in the U.S. The U.S. solar market grew to a $6 billion industry in 2010, up 67% from $3.6 billion in 2009. As a result of the growing awareness about reliable, off-the-shelf solar technology, concerns about rising costs of conventional fossil fuel, and new state and federal incentives, installation of solar energy has exploded since 2005. Solar electric capacity installations reached 956 MW in 2010, more than double the installations from 2009. This trend is expected to continue, with solar PV installations projected to double again in 2011.

The new millennium has seen PV become cost-effective in a rapidly growing number of areas as research and production advances continue every day. The U.S. solar energy market grew more than 100 percent in 2010 as a result of state and federal policies and incentives combined with innovative business models that are driving the cost of solar down at a dramatic pace.

While the sun generates enough energy to meet the world's energy needs many times over, the challenge is to capture that power for our use at a reasonable cost. These systems are becoming more affordable all the time, and you can start small and add to your system as you can afford it, a good place to start is with your own back-up solar generator.


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