Eight Amazing Things About Solar Panels That Could Change the World

How Solar Panels Can Change the WorldGuest post by Kriss Bergethon

Green energy is one of the most rapidly expanding industries in the world right now due to so many people looking to do their part to help save the planet. With so much focus on solving global warming and reducing air pollution, smarter and cleaner forms of energy are being looked at very closely by scientists and consumers. There are several cool facts about solar power that can change the world.

  1. The Reduction in Prices for Solar Panels
    One of the biggest reasons people avoided solar power in the past is that it was too expensive and inefficient to be worth their time. Coal has been up to 90% less expensive to use as an energy source over the years, which made other options ineffective. Prices on solar panels have dropped up to 30% in some cases and have come down to the $4/watt range.
  2. The Development of Solar Film
    Rather than using the traditional solar panels, a few companies have started to put out solar film. Film is cheaper to make than panels because it is printed out in rolls while standard panels are manufactured like microchips. The prices on solar film seem to be coming out at roughly $2/watt, which is 50% less expensive than panels.
  3. Increase in Efficiency for Panels
    Solar panels typically ran at an efficiency level of around 15%, which is measured by the difference between how much sun hits the panel and how much energy comes out of it. Solar energy has become more efficient in recent years, and newer panels are putting out 22% more consistently.
  4. Increase in Efficiency for Films
    Thin films have greatly increased in efficiency as well. Films consistently used to have about 10% efficiency, but with improvements in technology the films have bumped up their efficiency to about 15%, which makes them more worth the money.
  5. Utility Scale Solar Power
    Solar power can now be delivered through utility companies instead of just through panels mounted on a home or building. This enables power facilities to use mirrors and advanced panels to obtain maximum energy from the sun and transmit it to homes and businesses.
  6. Increased Price for Traditional Power
    As prices for traditional power like coal and fossil fuels continue to rise, people will continue to develop alternative energy sources. Solar energy is the most abundant resource that should be tapped, and increased cost will lead to more research and development.
  7. Research for Advancements
    Research drives projects like solar power to greater heights. When research is funded, things like efficiency go up for these panels and make it more affordable for everyone. The government is funding projects like solar power to clean up the environment.
  8. Investment of Time and Money
    Silicon Valley venture capital is involved in significant investments for the solar energy field. Programs are being granted the money and opportunities needed to advance solar power to a new level. Investment increases the rate of development for solar power.

Kriss Bergethon is a solar expert and writer from Colorado.  Visit his site at Solar Panels for more information.

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schuenemanhttps://tdsenvironmentalmedia.com
Tom is the founder and managing editor of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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  1. Apart from the efficiency of conversion of incident sunlight, the information that is of most interest to people is the longevity of the panels. As I understand it, the cells themselves can operate within panels in space for 55 years and upwards. Can anyone tell us what the longevity is likely to be for the best panel designs operating on the planet surface and most importantly: what is the weak point?

    Looking at the components of modern housing in the UK, it seems that the weakest or shortest lived components are: the sealants that are used around windows and doors; and the glues in composite boards used within the walls under the lining plaster board.
    The sealants that have replaced the use of Putty, seem to start to fail after 4 years, so would it be true to say that the sealants around the exposed top of the panels will also start to fail as quickly, or are they really more robust?
    If so, then how has this been achieved?


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