Six Lesser Known Facts About Solar Energy

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The average person knows the basic stuff about solar energy, for example, what it is and the fact that it’s considered better for the environment than other forms of energy.

Almost every country in the world has at least 2 percent of energy that is solar energy; however, there are several facts about solar energy that not everyone is aware of.

1. Germany Uses the Most Solar Energy

Germany Uses the Most Solar Energy

Many people think that the United States uses the most solar energy out of all the countries in the world. This is mainly due to the fact that solar energy development increased more in the United States during the year 2008 than in any other country. Of course, this created the impression that United States would continue to develop solar energy and eventually become the country that used it the most.

However, contrary to popular belief, it is actually Germany that has grown to be the world’s leader when it comes to solar energy. Almost 50 percent of Germany’s energy is solar energy, and it is aiming to have 100 percent solar power by 2050.

2. Einstein Was Involved in Solar Energy

Einstein Was Involved in Solar Energy

You probably know that Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in 1921, but not a lot of people know that the reason he won it was related to the installation of solar energy. Einstein explained the photoelectric effect and wrote a thesis about it in 1905 – years before he won the Nobel Prize.

The photoelectric effect is the principle behind what produces solar power. While Einstein’s theory became popular, it wasn’t proven until 1915, 10 years later. Albert Einstein conducted several important experiments with some of the earliest solar panels.

3. Solar Energy Will Eventually Be Free

Solar Energy Will Eventually be Free

Although solar energy systems are expensive to buy at first, after a few years, you will be getting free energy all the time. It is estimated that solar energy systems pay for themselves in five years, which means after that, all the electricity you receive will be free.

If you get a lot of sunshine to your home and you have the liberty to install a solar panel, it’s highly recommended that you do. Not only will it save money in the long term, but it’s also much better for the environment.

4. Use Solar Energy Where There’s Not Much Sunshine

Use Solar Energy Where There's Not Much Sunshine

It’s a common misconception that solar energy can only be used where there’s a lot of sunshine. However, this is not entirely true. The solar energy systems that you can purchase today can be used even in places where there’s not much sunshine.

When the sun is shining, the solar panel will store the excess energy that it doesn’t need at that particular moment. Of course, this means that when the sun isn’t shining, there’s stored energy that can be used.

5. It’s Good for the Economy

Solar Energy Is Good for the Economy

Believe it or not, solar energy is good for the economy. Well, it’s not solar energy directly that’s so good for the economy; it’s the effects it has on society that boosts the economy. Owing to the increasing demand worldwide for solar energy panels, businesses are requiring employees to help install these panels on homes, factories and various other buildings.

The demand for solar energy employees is mainly in the United States, where solar power is rapidly increasing. However, the problem that the country is faced with is the fact that there are not enough qualified people to fill the jobs available.

6. Get Paid for Your Solar Energy!

Get Paid for Your Solar Energy!

Not only can you save money by installing a solar energy system, but you can also earn money from it! Net metering is the process whereby electric companies buy solar energy from you. If you get a system that stores the excess energy that is procured from the sun, you can sell this to electric companies and easily make enough money to get back the cost of the solar energy system. Instead of paying the electric companies thousands of dollars each year, they’ll be paying you!

Conclusion

Solar energy has lots of benefits, and the obvious one for most people is how much money you can save and make by using it. Of course, there aren’t so many things that people don’t even know about solar energy! If you’ve studied solar energy or make money from it, leave your stories in the comments for others to read.

Image Credit: 1.

Article Written by
Sonia

Sonia Mansfield is the content editor for PsPrint and editor of PsPrint Design Blog. She likes to write, do yoga and make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company specializing in commercial printing. You can follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint.

Comments

  1. yogesh pant says:

    very informative post. It contained some very innovative ideas about the probable usages of the solar energy to which a normal person is unaware of.
    I really enjoyed reading this post and shall share the knowledge contained to my friends.

  2. JakeyM says:

    Well said, but people need to appreciate that adding Solar to their house is an asset that should boost the actual valuation of their property if / when they choose to sell. With the environment the way it is going we cannot dismiss any product that gives zero cost energy at no cost to both the customer and more significantly the earth!

  3. Tom Thomas says:

    One word ….. Solyndra

    I can’t beleive how people just line up to drink the Koolaid

  4. Paul Entrekin says:

    I also want to know where you get the idea it pays for itself in 5 years. I have NEVER heard any number less than 10 and most refer to 20 years, by that time the system needs to be replaced (even sometimes at 10 years). I see articles all the time about people who still owe on their system after 15-20 years. I would do it, but is a big startup expense and only a “break even” projected return. My electric bill ranges from $100 to $200 a month, so even though I am really for the idea, it is not worth it for me at this time. Either initial cost has to come down or return has to be significantly more to afford it. I have waited for 30 years for it to become one or the other. I am still waiting.

  5. Bill Lee says:

    You might have included an item addressing the distinction between photo-electric vs. solar heating panels (most people only think of the former, but for a long time the latter was more prolific).

    What solar panels “store” their solar power for no-sun periods? Some photo-electric systems have a batteries to store a limited amount of surplus output and solar-heating store heated water in hot-water tanks; but no panels store their own energy in any significant way. And of photo-electric systems, many of them do not even have batteries for storage; they feed their surplus power directly to the public power grid for use by others (and to reduce their electricity bill).

  6. Peter says:

    “Almost 50 percent of Germany’s energy is solar energy” – Is not true.
    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Germany it is about 3 percent.

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