Everyday you hear about renewable energy, carbon footprints, the changing climate and among this talk is usually something about solar energy and living a net-zero life. What part does solar energy play in the renewable energy picture, and what part can it play in your life?
Solar Energy has been around since the beginning our time and has been incorporated into buildings for thousands of years. How this energy is used continually changes and now days there are many ways to utilize this solar energy.
As you see the many forms of solar energy use displayed there is often confusion as to what the sun is doing in that situation. You see these panels installed on homes or buildings and it is amazing that the sun is heating the building or generating electricity that we all may be using.
Solar Energy is just one part of a larger picture of renewable energies, which includes wind, geothermal, hydropower, and bio-fuels. Though Solar Energy is not the one single answer to our energy needs, solar energy can provide a substantial amount of the energy we use.
One of the great aspects of Solar Energy is that it does not create any pollution while providing heat or electricity. If you use solar energy at home or work you reduce your carbon footprint, and reduce the need to mine and burn fossil fuels.
But even before using Solar Energy, everyone should focus on reducing their use of all forms of energy. This begins with using energy saving light bulbs, turning down thermostats in winter and turning them up in summer, and just driving less.
As you reduce the energy you use, and then supplement what energy you do use with solar energy, you begin to live a net-zero life. This is when those months you produce more energy than you use, offsets those months when you use more than you produce.
Everyone can utilize solar energy in some way, be it lighting or heat, but even on the simplest level without purchasing anything, just hanging clothes out to dry vs. using a dryer can make a big difference in our environment and on the pocket book.
Start today and live a light life, sunlight is free.
Troy Wanek installs solar energy systems along the Front Range and teaches a 3-hour class called Solar Energy Basics. This class is designed to answer those questions about solar energy, how it works, how we use it and the financial incentives and costs.
Learn to live Light.