The Solar Energy Effect on Our Society
Solar energy and its use isn’t new to the world. It has been used by various societies beginning from 7thCentury B.C, when the sun’s heat was concentrated by glass and mirrors to light fires. Today, we have everything from solar-powered buildings to solar-powered vehicles. By and large solar technology has some environmental, economic, psychological and ethical implications for our society. Actions taken by companies and individuals to increase the use of solar technology will create good local jobs, improve our environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil while doing what’s ethical and moral for our society.
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The costs of the installations are still very high, event thought cost of panels has come down of the past few years, thus it takes a long time to recoup the initial cost – long payback period often more than 8 years. The idea of solar power is still unattainable for the average American. On average, the cost of a household system up front can be anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000. In time, it covers all or part of the house’s energy needs. In addition, some electricity is used and it takes many years to regain the costs of installation in energy bill savings compared to the watts of energy generated. Generally people who can install solar panels are either living in states that have high tax credits and various incentives that make solar more affordable or live in states that have a lot of sunlight along with high electric rates (Hawaii) thus shortening the payback period. Additionally the early adopters tend to be more affluent or are interested in the greening of the environment. Not surprisingly we see that the market of highest solar PV penetration is found in California. The state has a combination of attractive incentives, a lot of sunshine throughout the year and relatively high electric rates as well as a society that’s interested in a greening the environment.
Since not all states are endowed the amount of sun that California has or often clouds may cover the sun during which period little