Developing Responsibly - Treading Lightly










 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environmental Responsibility

SOLAR ENERGY

Da Vinci predicted a solar industrialization as far back as 1447.

Solar energy is a gift from the Sun that is continually shining down on the earth. The idea to create devices that capture the sun's energy and convert it into usable energy for man has become a big business.

It makes sense, especially in San Felipe:
Average sunshine per year:

  • Canada 2000-2500 hours
  • Average U.S. cities: 2200 - 3000 hours
  • San Felipe: 3500 hours of sunshine with 8-9 hours on average in December and January.

Economical:
Solar energy has always been a good idea. A clean renewable energy source that lessens our greenhouse emissions and dependence on foreign fuels.

  • The energy to make a panel is only 4% of the total output of the panel. To put it another way, a solar panel can produce over 26 times the amount of energy used.
  • After the initial investment has been recovered, the energy from the sun is practically FREE.
  • The recovery/ payback period for this investment can be very short depending on how much electricity your household uses.
  • Solar energy does not require any fuel.
  • It's not affected by the supply and demand of fuel and is therefore not subjected to the ever-increasing price of gasoline.
  • The savings are immediate and for many years to come.
  • The use of solar energy indirectly reduces health costs.


Solar Panels on one of the El Dorado Ranch Homes

Good for the environment:
Solar panels are not only a good economic investment, they are a good ecological investment for the planet. There is no source of energy that has less impact on our planet. The energy that solar panels produce is free of pollution or CO2 emissions. They generate energy from the ultimate renewable resource: our Sun!

How exactly does putting a solar panel system on your home help? First off it replaces the need for more coal or natural gas derived electricity. Coal mining is an ecological disaster. On top of that, most existing coal plants release many different toxins directly into the air we breath, from sulfur to lead and mercury, nothing good comes from these plants. Even the newer plants coming on line, which reduce the toxic pollutants dramatically, still produce massive quantities of CO2, a greenhouse gas and a direct cause of global warming. Natural gas is far more benign but still produces large quantities of CO2 when used to produce electricity.


Solar Panels on one of the El Dorado Ranch Homes

An average American produces about 35,000 lbs of CO2 per year for their energy needs.

By using solar panels, you replace dirty electricity from coal and gas with clean electricity from the sun. A 5 kilowatt system will prevent the release of nearly 10,400 pounds of CO2 every year for the life of the system.

Along with adding more insulation and converting to fluorescent bulbs, solar electricity could drop a person's green house gas emissions by 60 or 70%. If even half the US were to do this it would substantially reduce our impact on our planet.

It does not pollute our air by releasing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide or mercury into the atmosphere like many traditional forms of electrical generation does, so...

  • Solar Energy is clean, renewable (unlike gas, oil and coal) and sustainable, helping to protect our environment. Therefore, Solar Energy does not contribute to global warming, acid rain or smog.
  • It actively contributes to the decrease of harmful green house gas emissions.
  • It's generated where it is needed. By not using any fuel, Solar Energy does not contribute to the cost and problems of the recovery and transportation of fuel or the storage of radioactive waste

Low/ no maintenance
Solar Energy systems are virtually maintenance free and will last for decades. Once installed, there are no recurring costs. The solar energy panels operate silently, have no moving parts, do not release offensive smells and do not require you to add any fuel. And even better, more solar panels can easily be added in the future when your family's needs grow.

The Future of Solar Power:
The US Department of Energy recently stated that a research group led by the University of Delaware has achieved a new record for solar cell efficiency.

The consortium led by the University of Delaware (UD) announced that it has created a solar cell that can convert 42.8% of the sunlight that hits it into electricity, besting a record set by Spectrolab and DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in December 2007.

This is good news for the future of solar. Most solar cells on the market today are about 11-12% efficient. 42.8% efficiency is, therefore, a huge leap forward for the technology. Of course, this has been achieved in a lab, not in a mass-production and real world environment. There is still a tremendous need for funds and research to make higher efficiency a reality.


Solar Panels on one of the El Dorado Ranch Homes

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