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Five reasons to go Solar NOW!


While a majority of India’s current electricity supply is generated from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, these traditional energy sources face a number of challenges including rising prices, security concerns over dependence on imports from a limited number of countries which have significant fossil fuel supplies, and growing environmental concerns over the climate change risks associated with power generation using fossil fuels.

Solar power generation has emerged as one of the most rapidly growing renewable sources of electricity. Solar power generation has several advantages over other forms of electricity generation.

But then we don’t take solar products so seriously do we ? We have a mindset against solar products which simply doesn’t let us buy them. Here are some reasons this mindset is up for a nice thrashing -

1 – Going solar will help you in eliminating or significantly reducing your energy bill

Regardless of whether you are a homeowner or a business, electric costs can make up a large portion of your overall budget. An average monthly electric bill of INR 1,000 becomes INR 12,000 for the year and INR 2,40,000 in 20 years. Steadily increasing, electric rates also can be volatile and unpredictable, especially if production of electricity in your area is tied to gas or coal prices. And we all know our electricity bill comes way more than INR 1,000. So it’s for you to calculate… BUT installing a solar panel system at your home or business takes you out of this cycle. It either eliminates your electric bill completely or reduces it so dramatically that electricity costs are no longer a significant factor in your budget. How much you will save is a function of many factors—things like how much energy your system produces or how much you consume. The biggest determinate of savings, though, are the rates you would have paid if your electricity came from your utility. Your savings are equal to the costs you avoid by going solar, so if rates are high in your area, you’ll be saving more. And, since electricity prices are guaranteed to continue rising every now and then, your savings will continue to grow every year over the 25 – 30 year lifespan of your solar panel or wind-solar hybrid system.

Slashing the amount of one of your largest expenses makes perfect sense, but the benefits of solar aren’t just economic. Because electricity prices are so unpredictable, they make managing your budget very difficult, especially for businesses or homeowners whose cash flow can fluctuate from month to month. By installing a solar photo-voltaic (PV) system, you can fix these costs, making them more predictable. This is especially beneficial for retirees or others with fixed incomes and also for businesses whose cash flows stabilize when electricity expenses are reduced or eliminated. By making these costs more predictable, solar power systems also improve a home or business owner’s expense management capabilities.

2 - Solar panel systems are a great investment

In many ways, your solar power system is a financial product—one that is capable of generating annual returns ranging anywhere from 10% to more than 30%.

Many people may look at a solar panel systems as an expense, but that view does not take into account the tremendous value these systems are capable of producing over their 25-30 year lifespan. A solar PV system is one of the best ways to invest your money. Even if your return is at the lower end of the range (i.e. 10% returns), it’s still fantastic because returns earned through solar power systems have many benefits over returns from your other investments such as stocks and bonds.

WHAT DETERMINES YOUR RETURNS?

The biggest drivers of your financial benefits are your current electric rates, the incentives for which you might qualify and, of course, getting the best deal possible when you purchase your solar PV system.

Annual returns are calculated by dividing the financial benefits you receive each year by your initial investment in your solar power system. How large your returns will be is a function of several things:

• Electricity Rates:

How high are your current bills? This determines your savings over the life of your system. The higher your rates, the more you will save.

• Incentives:

Are there local and/or state tax programs such in your area that encourage solar adoption? Are you a business or other organization that can take advantage of depreciation tax benefits, including accelerated depreciation?

• Cost:

Did you get the best deal? Were you able to take advantage of rebates and tax incentives that offset the cost of your installation?

• Technology:

How efficient is your system, i.e. is it producing electricity at optimal levels?

Tip: Consider buying wind-solar hybrid systems if your location has windspeeds averaging above 3 m/s.

• Property Characteristics:

How sunny is it where you are ? Which way does your roof face ? What is the pitch of your roof ? Is there shading ? All of these things will affect your production levels to some degree.

• Property Value Increases:

How much will the value of your property increase when you sell your home or commercial property ?

• Business Benefits:

How much will your profits increase because of your lower costs ? What is the value of the goodwill your solar power system generated ? What level of revenues is attributable to your green credentials ?

3 - Solar panel systems increases your property value

Studies show that homes with solar panel systems have property values 3-4% above similar homes in the same area. They also sell twice as fast as the competition.

Early studies focused on established solar markets such as California. As solar takes hold across the world, new studies are showing increases in value in some communities that exceed 4%. Recognizing that solar power systems add value to a property, the real estate industry is working to create more sophisticated methods for accurately determining the market value as well as the financial value of properties equipped with solar power systems. Some of the same factors that drive your overall financial returns also drive increases in property values. Not surprisingly, areas where the cost of electricity is high or states where there are strong solar incentive programs are seeing the largest increases. All of this is great news for property owners with solar PV systems who not only recoup the initial cost of their systems when they sell, but also receive a premium that will increase the returns on their investment.

4 - Ecofriendly and safe way of producing electricity

Sustainability is a driving force behind installing solar photovoltaic and wind-solar hybrid systems.. We can Protect the environment through harnessing wind and solar energy. Support a safe, renewable, and cost-effective form of energy production.

Many homeowners, businesses and non-profits go solar because they are focused on minimizing environmental issues such as climate change and health problems related to carbon emissions. Estimates of India’s per capita GHG emissions in 2030-31 vary from 2.77 tonnes to 5.00 tonnes.1 Going solar will help in decreasing this significantly. While each home, business or non-profits that adopt solar power is making a dent in our pollution levels, it’s the cumulative effect that really makes an impact.

There’s another key way installing solar panels helps and it’s one that most people don’t think about. By using solar power to meet your energy needs, you reduce the carbon your utility plant emits in the production of the power it supplies. The demand on energy at utility plants decreases with every home or business that uses clean energy sources such as solar. Depending onthe source of your utility’s production — many are still using dirty sources such as coal to generate electricity—the impact of your decision to go solar could be very significant.

Why use a nuclear reactor which has the potential to completely destroy everything in its 10 km radius when we have our own heavenly natural reactor (sun) continuously providing us with energy.

5 - New-generation solar panels far cheaper, more efficient

A new generation of solar panels made from a mineral called Perovskite has the potential to convert solar energy into household electricity more cheaply than ever before, according to a study from Britain's Exeter University.

Super-thin, custom-colored panels attached to a building's windows may become a "holy grail" for India and African countries.

With a thickness measured in billionths of a meter, solar panels made of Perovskite will be more than 40 percent cheaper and 50 percent more efficient than those commercially produced today.

Unlike other solar panels, those made of Perovskite can absorb most of the solar spectrum and work in various atmospheric conditions, rather than only in direct sunlight.

"This type of material for solar cells works in diffused conditions much, much better than the other types of solar cells. It won't be 100 percent, but it will be much more than what we have now."

Researchers have already tested the material in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Reference

[1] http://www.moef.nic.in/sites/default/files/GHG_report_2.pdf

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