How is Solar Energy Used Today

Solar energy is used today in a variety of ways.  Probably because today, more and more people are understanding the advantages of solar energy as our solar technology increases and the cost of fossil fuels rises.  Solar energy systems today can now used to power homes, cars, appliances, businesses, and cities.

Thermal solar, or concentrated solar power energy systems are frequently used for heating water for households, especially indoor water tanks and swimming pools.

Concentrated solar power plants can also be built as large-scale projects which provide electricity to several homes or businesses.

Passive solar energy systems are also frequently used today when designing and constructing new homes.  These homes are built with specially designed windows, roofing, and overall architectural alignment to be facing the sun at distinct orientation.  These designs will hopefully reduce heating costs during colder winter months by exploiting the low angle of the sun above the horizon by constructing low windows to absorb the sun’s heat.  The opposite happens during the summer months, a strategically allocated roof will deflect the sun’s heat to keep a home cooler.

The most common form of solar energy used today are photovoltaic solar panels, which absorb the sun’s light to create electricity.  These solar panels can be attached to homes as a primary or secondary source of electric power.  They can also be used for small appliances and machines which only need small amounts of electricity for use.  Large scale photovoltaic panel plants have also been constructed to provide power to many homes.

In 2009 Barack Obama signed $1.6 billion in investment tax credits for solar and other renewable energy sources.  This bill also includes the long term goal of having 25% of America’s electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2025.  The government often provides financial assistance for people or businesses who are willing to use solar power as an electric source.

Solar energy is a very common form of renewable energy used today and continues to grow in popularity.

To learn more about setup options, costs, energy required and other helpful solar energy facts check out our Solar Power Calculator Tool.