Solar Panels: The Future of Renewables
Posted 03 November 2015
This summer it was announced that the world’s leading industrial nations would commit to ‘decarbonising the global economy’ by the end of this century. At the G7 summit, many of the nations most heavily reliant on fossil fuels today, pledged their commitment to reducing their reliance on harmful power sources, promising instead to invest in more sustainable sources that would not contribute towards greenhouse emissions.
With the end of fossil fuels seemingly in sight, there are a number of long-term energy resources. While nuclear is perhaps the most controversial of these, there are several other avenues being pursued, including wind power, hydroelectricity and, of course, solar energy.
As the Earth receives more energy in one hour from the sun than humans consume in an entire year, harnessing this energy to produce electricity is fast becoming a major priority for the G7 nations. With such a strong focus on fossil fuel power through the course of the 20th century, it is fair to say that developments in solar energy are still relatively limited – and it is exciting to think that we have only just started scratching the surface of what solar panels can achieve.
At Trivselhus by Esh, we are committed to delivering sustainable 21st century living today, by incorporating the latest solar technologies into our homes and helping to reduce our homes’ reliance on electricity provided by fossil fuel-burning power stations. We use the very latest in solar photovoltaic panels.
How does it work?
Solar photovoltaics capture the sun’s energy through cells made from semiconductor materials (usually silicon). Once the cells have absorbed the sunlight, they create electrons (energy), which can be converted to electricity. A common misconception is that solar photovoltaics will only generate electricity when the sun is shining and direct sunlight falls on the panels. Even when the sun is not shining, a considerable amount of energy can still be created.
What are the benefits?
Quite simply, solar energy is a renewable energy: utilising nature’s greatest power source to generate electricity without reliance on finite resources such as oil, gas and coal, which are harmful to the Earth.
Solar panels aren’t just good for the environment, however, they are also lighter on the pocket in the long term. Solar photovoltaics:
Reduce energy bills
As energy is created on-site, the use of solar panels can be partially funded by the government. Using the ‘free’ electricity generated through home-fitted solar panels can significantly reduce the reliance on regulated energy bills. Thanks to the energy efficient technologies and appliances utilised in Trivselhus by Esh homes, it is even possibly to generate an electricity surplus through the photovoltaics. Under these circumstances, energy can be exported back to the National Grid through what is known as a Feed-in Tariffs (FiT).
Feed-in Tariffs were introduced in 2010 to encourage the uptake of renewable electricity-generating technologies, through financial incentive. Major suppliers, including British Gas, EDF Energy and E.ON are legally required to pay FiT’s, so generating renewable energy can result in financial reward.
Require little maintenance
Unlike standard electricity provided through generators, with sometimes troublesome and temperamental parts, solar panels require very little maintenance. The collection of dirt and debris on top of the panels can be easily avoided with a quick rinse, keeping the panels clean and properly functioning. In fact, the only only maintenance required is ensuring that they’re kept free from obstruction and shadow, such as that caused by trees.
A Trivselhus By Esh home
Solar panels function most effectively when used in conjunction with an energy-efficient property. From triple-glazed windows to mineral wool insulated walls, Trivselhus by Esh properties showcase impressive green credentials, which are enhanced by the presence of solar photovoltaics.
Find out more about our homes by exploring our developments section.