Today, electricity has become both a necessity and a commodity. In our time, it has become a priority in comparison to food, water, shelter and clothing. Since its utilization in the late 19th century, electricity has become the most widely used energy source and has led to the development of modern conveniences from light-bulbs to refrigerators to stoves and irons and washing machines to computers and stereos and even some cars.
At present, the extensive use and abuse of fossil fuels has taken a toll on us by introducing greenhouse gases, depleting natural resources, providing hazardous work conditions for some (those mining the coal and stationed on oil rigs) and led to the imbalance of our climate commonly referred to as the climate change. In order to decrease the effects of these threats, new alternative energy resources such as solar panels are being used. Solar power integration in households and buildings is starting to increase and the demand for this type of clean and renewable energy is increasing too. Research and development has brought about great improvements related to solar panel production, but there still are considerable costs associated with the purchase and installation of these devices.
The cost of solar panels and the resulting power depends upon the application, materials, and quality of equipment, all of which determines the life span of the overall installation. For premade solar arrays, a single array can cost $900 (which equates to about $12 per Watt.) This does not include installation. A professional installation for a small-scale home would cost around $20,000. This includes the complete system and equipment. The installation at a medium-scale home would run about $25,000 while a large-scale house installation would be approximately $50,000.
The cost of solar power is very expensive at first glance because of the per installation basis. The relatively high expense of professional installation is due to the fact that solar energy utilization is an emerging technology. To make the most of any solar panel installation, energy efficient appliances should be used to extend the lifespan and effectiveness.
Maintenance is also a considerable area of concern because solar panels are very delicate and sensitive to dust and other obstructions. However, manufacturers are starting to strengthen their solar panel products for increased durability and functionality. To fully use the solar panels, the geographical area and the orientation with respect to the sun must be considered extensively. A trustworthy solar power provider must be chosen in order to provide the best value for money.
Excluding the cost of installation and maintenance, the cost of solar electricity generation is relatively zero. Unlike fossil fuel power plants where a considerable amount of fuel must be constantly maintained in order to generate electrical energy. With solar panel technology, as long as the sun and the earth exist, one can generate electrical energy.
So yes, while the cost of solar power is expensive at the first glance, there are many benefits. Compared to the expenses that accumulate over time with regard to fossil fuels, the savings and benefits of solar panels extensively surpass the other. Solar energy is safer, cleaner and eco-friendly. As governments are starting to consider these benefits, the trend of solar power utilization will eventually decrease solar power cost. Everything on earth is linked. And the earth is linked to the sun, its original energy source.