There are several reasons why people install solar on their homes. Some people have multiple reasons to go solar. Let’s take a look at some of the four most common ones.
Some locations have no access to grid power, or if they do, it is exorbitantly expensive to connect to it. Rural homes, holiday homes and remote cabins come to mind. In these locations, the options often come down to off-grid solar and/or using a generator.
Using just a generator means turning on the generator every single time you need any power, even just to turn on a small LED light. By installing solar panels with a battery bank, they don’t need to deal with the generator being on, making noise and burning fuel, every time they need power. A generator is often a helpful tool to have when living off grid, assisting the solar in keeping the batteries topped off during a string of bad weather, but you can control when you have the generator on and for how long, preserving your quiet time and fuel.
2. SELF RELIANCE
The ability to generate your own power, and not be dependent on anyone to sell it to you is very important to in certain instances. Especially in a country like Zimbabwe experiencing sever power shortages, solar provides the best alternative to be able to keep the the electricity flowing in your home.
In rare cases, some communities cannot be beholden to others, so any power they need they must make themselves.
For example, did you know that the Amish are big users of solar? It’s estimated that 80% of the Amish families in the world’s largest Amish community of Holmes County, Ohio have solar panels. They even install them on their horse drawn buggies to power the required lights.
Small communities in certain countries are beginning to crop up that are choosing to be their own independent micro-grids, lowering their costs of going solar by buying a larger system that serves multiple homes at once. Some are completely off-grid, while others remain grid-tied reducing their costs by not having a large battery bank.
Some people want to be prepared for any disasters that may occur that can take down the power grid. They have installed solar to provide them power to be prepared for the worst, allowing them to have lights, communication, water, and more when all else has failed.
3. ENVIRONMENTAL ☼
Most electricity in the world is made with fossil fuels. There are some exceptions, some places are fortunate to have hydroelectric plants that are able to make most of their power with a renewable resource. For the rest of us, most of the electricity today comes from coal, oil, or gas fired electric plants. Solar electricity gives them the ability to use less of the dirty electricity that comes from it, and utilize the clean, renewable resources from the sun.
Sources of Worldwide Electricity
- Coal = 39%
- Natural gas = 27%
- Nuclear = 19%
- Hydropower = 6%
- Other renewables = 7%
- Biomass = 1.7%
- Geothermal = 0.4%
- Solar = 0.4%
- Wind = 4.4%
- Petroleum = 1%
- Other gases < 1%
Some may question how much of a difference can one person make. But as an example in the 70’s there was smog in Los Angeles, USA and the hole in the ozone layer. By changing the fuel and chemicals they used, together they were able to clean up the air and allow the atmosphere to heal itself. By using fewer fossil fuels, we can help reduce the amount of pollution in the environment and reduce the effects of global climate change.