Solar Energy: What You Need To Know Before You Install It

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Solar Energy: What You Need To Know Before You Install It

Do you want a way to save money on your next electricity bill? Opt for solar energy – what you need to know before you install it.

With mild winters and blue-sky summers, Australia is a nation soaked in sunshine. For 4 billion years the sun has been blasting us with its unrelenting heat, maybe it’s time you took something back.

Whether it be fixed solar panels for your home, or something a bit more portable for your camping trips, it’s likely that solar energy may be able to benefit you.

Is Australia the right place for solar?

Australia is an ideal environment to take advantage of solar energy, more so than nearly any other place on Earth. Due to Australia’s unique combination of global positioning. Its relationship to the Earth’s magnetic field and that temperate climate, we average an incredible 4 kilowatt-hours – or 14 megajoules – of solar energy per square meter, per day.  That’s the equivalent energy of 14 family sedans moving at 161 km/h raining down on every square meter of Australia every single day.

That’s a hefty amount of power.

As you’d expect with that kind of raw sunshine, Australia’s solar industry is booming. According to the Australian PhotoVoltaic Institute, an average of 16,000 photovoltaic setups, known as PV, have been installed in Australia every month since 2013 and that uptake has shown no signs of slowing.

As of March 2019, there are over two million solar panel installations in Australia producing a combined capacity of over 12 gigawatts of electricity.

solar energy on house

If you’re thinking of adding a solar panel to your home or office, it’s vital you know where they’ll be most effective.

Solar panels are most commonly installed on roofs, but sometimes this is not a viable option.

Plumbing and roofing specialists, Shepherd Plumbing, have completed a number of roof jobs to prepare a clean and clear roofing area before solar installation. They say, “even if you can’t put solar panels on your roof, look into alternative placements and contact concreting specialists to help you create a foundation for ground-mounted solar panels.

 

Should I be interested in solar energy?

The Australian market is perfectly positioned not just to take advantage of solar, but for its inevitability.

 

Electricity prices are rising as the cost of traditional power, both economically and environmentally, continues to blow out. Conversely, solar panels are cheaper than they’ve ever been, thanks to refined manufacturing processes and continued investment in infrastructure.

 

This means that not only are solar panels as cheap as they’ve ever been, but they’re also only going to get cheaper.

Finally, the technology of solar has never been better –  we now have the most advanced solar panels we’ve ever seen.

More and more Australians have begun to add solar panels to their existing and newly built buildings. According to the building designers at Modern Day Concepts, “we are designing more buildings with solar panels than ever before. Our customers are recognising the multitude of benefits that a renewable energy source can do for the environment and their wallets, and are eager to add panels to their homes and commercial buildings.”

 

And since solar panels have an average shelf life of between 20-40 years it isn’t a matter of if your solar pays for itself, but when. They’re rugged, long-lasting and continue to generate value over the entire course of their lifetime.

 

This is only helpful for those looking to invest in property, with property experts Max Funding explaining “there is a correlation between the number of solar panels on your home and the resale value of your home. This works out to be an increase in the value of $6000 per kilowatt of solar power generated. For property investors, this can deliver huge dividends in the long run.”

Home solar is all well and good, but can I take it off-road?

portable solar panels

Of course, this is just domestic solar we’re talking about. Where the solar panels of today really shine, so to speak, is in their portability. There’s an unfair perception that photovoltaic panels are the same today as they were back in the ’90s. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just like mobile phones and televisions, solar panels today are lighter, flatter, and so very portable.

In this high technology future, we live in it’s possible to strap a solar panel to the roof of a vehicle. Or fold them down and store them in the boot of your car. You can harness the raw energy of the star we orbit anywhere you choose. We are no longer tethered to our homes by the shackles of power cords. We are free to roam the earth as we see fit, and have enough power to do whatever we want when we get there.

There is no more fumbling in the dark like a caveman. Or firing up a smokey generator like a Dickens novel. There is only clean, silent power on the go. In what would have seemed a science fiction film only years ago. There is an entire market of 12v devices that run on portable solar that make camping seem like Star Trek. Fridges, freezers, televisions, you can even take your laptop on tour and stream Netflix via satellite from the Red Center itself. Not even Back To The Future saw that one coming.

Are solar panels worth a shot?

Solar energy is the power of the future, today. What was once the pipe dream of the late 20th century is the low-cost reality of the 21st. Solar is easy, it’s effective and above all – it’s cheap. Samuel from Northern Rivers Asbestos Removal, a professional asbestos removalist company, tells us that “since installing solar panels on the roof of our warehouse and office building, our electricity bill has significantly dropped. They require very little maintenance and are definitely paying themselves off quickly.”

Is solar worth a shot in Australia? Absolutely.

There is literally no better place on earth.

So what are you waiting for?

Sarah Miller

Sarah writes about her personal journey, learning, life optimisation and her passions. For more thoughts and ideas, you can connect with Sarah on Twitter

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