Harnessing power from the sun reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, but it can come with a price tag. How to decide if it’s worth it to us. Solar power sounds like a genius, obvious way to save the planet—after all, solar is clean and renewable. Current methods of harnessing solar can be expensive, and the options complex.
Here’s how to figure out whether it makes sense for us.
Checking your house.
You can’t stick solar panels on any old roof. The ideal one for placing photovoltaic (PV) panels is south-facing, free of shade, and new enough that it won’t need to be replaced in the next few years. If you’re building a new home, make it energy efficient and install the panels as the roof is built, saving you the engineering and installation costs that a retrofit would require.
Picking your plan.
The bulk of solar options is available only to people who own their homes. If you do, solar providers can offer you a system with the right number of panels to power your house, based on how much energy you consume, your local climate, and other factors. They generally sell the systems outright or with financing or offer a leasing program. In some states, there’s another option, known as a power purchase agreement (PPA). With a PPA, a solar provider will install panels on your house for free, then sell the electricity they generate back to you at a competitive rate. In all cases, it’s imperative to read the fine print (and there may be a lot of it) about fees and the exact terms, as you would with any big or long-term financial commitment. “Remember, these companies are there to make a profit.”
Calculating the costs and benefits.
Solar systems are not cheap. A recent study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory pegged the average cost of a small-scale PV system at around $3,900 per kilowatt. Although each house is different. In general, though, you could be looking at around $30,000 before rebates (which can be significant; more on that later). So how long will it take for your new solar power to offset that cost? The frustrating answer is, it depends.“But the question is, how quickly do you need that return? In places where the cost of electricity is higher, the investment is paid back much more quickly.”
Here is another choice cost less, you can try to start your solar life with a portable power station that could be recharged by solar.
The ultra-stable & safe LiFePO4 battery chemistry creates multiple layers of protection while providing 2000 more charging life cycles for the solar generator before reaching 80% capacity. Solar charging with 100w solar panel, car charging(DC12V-30V), and wall outlet AC power adapter charging supported. It could be charged in multiple ways. What’s more, the cost is less. It’s a nice choice for us to start solar life.