As the Sales Manager for Harvest Energy Solutions in the state of Ohio, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to explain what it is that is so great about solar energy… Let’s face it, there is not a whole lot to look at when studying a solar array. There is nothing that you or I can visually see that makes it impressive. Unless you have a solar system that follows the sun, there are no moving parts at all. Literally, we bolt some solar panels to the roof or mount them onto some ground racking, wire it all up and Presto! You are generating electricity, for 30 – 40 years!!
Obviously, there is a lot more to it in the details but generally speaking it is really quite simple. There is no maintenance because there is nothing that is moving that can wear out. Outside of keeping up the with the yard around the solar array or replacing your roof down the road, solar is a hassle free electric generator that does not require costly, dirty, non – renewable, fossil fuels to work. When you take a minute to really think about what that means it is truly amazing. Below I have listed a few of the reasons I am so impressed with solar energy.
- Easy to Understand – Unlike a fossil fuel generator, there is not a complicated combustion engine that burns dirty fuel to make electricity. Solar Panels capture photons from sunlight and turn it into usable electricity with the help from an Inverter.
- No Maintenance – Solar is static. There are no moving parts that can wear out. There are solar panels out in the field that have been working for 30+ years and it costs zero dollars in maintenance to keep the panels running. I challenge you to come up with something else that can generate electricity without burning fuel and with no moving parts.
- No Fuel Cost – Imagine if you never had to go to the gas pump or charge some batteries to keep your automobile going. Think of the long term savings of never spending any money on fuel. I bet you would consider spending more money on a car if you never had to pay for maintenance and fuel cost. Well with solar, that’s what you get.
- Extremely long useful life - How many people do you know spend tens of thousands dollars on a vehicle that lasts them for 10 years or less? Probably a lot, right. In addition to the upfront cost of a vehicle you have to spend money on fuel and maintenance. Well the average cost for a solar system on a residence is probably around $30,000 and it will out live the life of your vehicle by 2 or 3 times in my opinion, maybe more. Not to mention, solar is working for you every single day for 30 – 40 years. As time marches on, the cost of electricity continues to rise, making the solar investment worth more. With a vehicle purchase you lose value as soon as you leave the parking lot and it never returns.
- Clean Fuel Source – The consequences of using sunlight for fuel are pretty minimal compared to that of fossil fuels. We are not polluting the atmosphere with solar. To harvest sunlight you have to point a solar panel in the direction of the sun. The only downside I can think of is that you have to find a place to put the solar. Harvesting fossil fuel sometimes involves the removal of mountains. With solar there is not damaging by product. Also, there are now methods to recycle solar panels so that at the end of the useful life of a solar panel we are not polluting landfills. The article below is a good read about recycling. https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2016/06/solar-pv-module-recycling-why-it-s-important.html
At the end of the day, I like to think of a solar system as a generator where there is no fuel cost. To me that is truly amazing. When you really think of all the negatives of burning fuel for electricity you really start to appreciate solar energy at a different level.