As a result of solar power becoming increasingly affordable and easier to install, many areas are using them to create their own Microgrids. Here is a look at how solar panels are helping to encourage Microgrid creation and what the future holds for solar energy in residential areas.
The Benefits of Solar Energy
In order to appreciate the reasons why so much money and technological research is being invested in solar power it is worth considering the benefits that this energy source has to offer. Solar energy can boast two main attributes, not only is it a sustainable resource but it is also completely renewable, so unlike fossil fuels we will never run out of it. It also enables homeowners and communities to generate their own source of electricity and reduce or maybe even eliminate their dependency on the main grid. Solar power produces zero emissions and is good for the environment especially when you compare it against fossil fuel generated electricity. Many governments around the world are embracing this concept of powering our homes and a good number of them offer financial incentives or even rebates to encourage individuals or communities to change to this cleaner and more cost effective source of energy and power.
Delivering Energy Locally
As the focus continues to intensify on producing renewable energy, Microgrids are considered to be the most viable way of approaching the subject of grid modernization and reducing dependency on the national grid network. Microgrids are essentially scaled down versions of the centralized electricity system that are able to deliver local power needs in the same way as a national network is expected to do. The fundamental difference of course is that a Microgrid offers communities the opportunity to control and regulate their power source on a localized basis which allows for greater customer participation in the electricity enterprise.
Scalable Growth of a local Microgrid
A Microgrid is essentially a collection of solar panels connected together to create a network that is capable of providing power to communities who are either looking at trying to reduce or eliminate their need to use the national network and at the same time, want to improve energy efficiency, control costs and reduce the impact of carbon emissions. Microgrids are the next generation of energy supply and should not be viewed as simply a backup system and they also have the ability to harness power for everyone within their vicinity by pooling together the solar panels in use rather than the less efficient way of each property having an individual stand alone panel. They use specifically designed software and power electronics to store the power generated in order to provide energy on a 24 hour basis and not just when the sun is shining.
Microgrids are understandably a very welcome solution in areas where there are significant power outages or in local communities where there is limited access to the national network. Linking up solar panels and creating a successful Microgrid is a viable way forward for every home and community to obtain their power in the future and that includes urban as well as rural areas that would benefit in many ways, such as substantially reducing emissions as well as creating the opportunity for reduced energy costs as the network grows.Yogesh Mankani is an environmental researcher and consultant. He enjoys sharing his finding with the public through blogging. Visit the #1 site to shop and compare energy rates Save On Energy.