The solar power industry is steadily growing and solar panels for homes and businesses are starting to get affordable. Why should you invest in your own solar power system? Very different things motivate people. We have found that the most common motivators are:
- Reduce my dependence on energy sources such as fossil fuels and coal by using a clean and renewable energy source. Investing in green energy contributes to fighting global warming.
Sense of Security
- I want to become independent of the electrical grid, completely self-sufficient with electricity.
- Solar panels provide a good backup of electricity incase of electricity cuts. You should hook your photovoltaic system together with batteries if this is your motivation for buying solar panels. A system like this is often called a hybrid, meaning it has components of both off and on-grid systems.
- I want to protect myself from future price increases in utility-supplied electricity. Data from U.S. Energy Information Association shows that the price of electricity has increased about 3 cents/kWh in the last 10 years, and is projected to keep growing.
- Generating my own electricity will lower my electricity bill, saving money long-term. This of course depends on each particular situation. Whether or not investing in solar panels would result in long-term finacial benefits is dependant on many factors (amount of insolation, rebates and incentives to name a few).
- Make the electricity company work for you by selling electricity back to the utility grid. Many utilites supports net metering, meaning that the power you generate with your PV-system that is not used first-hand by yourself, goes back on the electric power grid.
- The cost of installing a utility line to my location exceeds the cost of a solar system.
The Solar Panel Hobbyist
- Solar panels are a hobby of mine. I want to learn more about making my own solar panels and the technology behind them.
Supporting National Interests and Businesses
I support the U.S. by reducing dependence on foreign oil and investing in photovoltaic components that are manufactured in the U.S. This is of course a valid reason for many countries outside the U.S.
In the Research and Learning Phase
- I haven’t decided yet – I’m here to learn more about solar panels for home use. Most people who read this article fall into this category. You are at the right place. Go to the Solar category to learn more.
Which of these goals are actually realistic? The answer to this question can only be determined by looking at your particular situation. In general, rebate programs and net metering, which we will talk about in later articles, are absolutely essential if you want affordable solar power.
Even with these benefits, the cost of electricity generated by solar panels would in many cases be higher than the power the utility companies can supply. This is why we believe that purchasing a solar system should at least partially be environmentally motivated.