Make Money From Solar and Wind Power
Solar and wind power are readily available power sources, and the one reason why everybody is not using them yet is that up until now green energy has been too cost-prohibitive.
Until more people choose to use renewable energy, the cost of producing those types of energy will remain high. However, governments worldwide are realizing the benefits of these technologies and thus offering incentives for people who decide to use solar energy and wind power.
The Energy Policy Act makes installing solar and wind power affordable options through the use of tax credits which range from $50 to $2000. Rebates are available as well. There are a range of renewable energy incentive programs available for consumers.
The North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council were key developers of the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE); this database describes what resources and incentives are available for Americans who wish to consider renewable energy options.
A great thing about renewable energy is that if you generate enough you can sell it back to the utility company. The 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act states that if individuals or businesses generate excess amounts of power through renewable energy, the utility company must buy it at wholesale cost.
Solar & Wind Energy Systems
Electricity can be generated from sunlight through the use of the photo voltaic (PV) cell, which converts light energy into electrical energy using the process called the photo voltaic effect. Sunlight hits the PV cell, and the cell then transforms light energy into an electrical signal. The electrical signal is then converted into electrical power. The same principles apply to a small solar power system as to a large scale solar power system.
If you have a large area (more than an acre) of land at your disposal then you may be able to turn that into power too. For people who live in a rural location or on an empty block, wind power is a cost-effective and renewable source of power. Even if you only have minimal natural air movement, your home can at least produce some electricity in a cost-effective manner.
Depending how much wind you have on your property you could possibly save 50% to 90% on your electricity bill. Combining wind power with solar power could potentially mean that you never have to pay a power bill ever again.
To measure how much wind power you have available at your home you need to have the correct measuring equipment. Windsocks are available which indicate the speed of the wind as well. More accurate equipment is available at a science or weather equipment store.
Wind resource maps detail the estimated yearly electricity production available from a wind turbine. These maps are based on an average wind speed, but if you are going to rely fully on wind power, you will want to make sure that you get consistent wind speeds at your location.
The Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States is available on the Wind Technology Center website (www.nrel.gov/wind). More than likely you will want to have a battery system where you can store the generated power.
If you are concerned about the damage that fossil fuels are doing to the environment and are looking for other options, then solar and wind energy are your best bet. You do not have to fully commit to a wind- or solar-powered system; instead, think about the small changes you can make. For starters, you may want to install solar panels on your roof. There are a range of styles available which fit into nearly any budget.
By combining green-building techniques as well as active solar systems, you can create a home that harnesses as many kilowatts of energy a year as it uses. Yes, you can create a zero-energy home by combining technologies such as solar water collectors and photo voltaic panels.
That said, passive solar design can be just as useful in creating a zero-energy home. Talk to an engineer who will be able to give you the best advice about how you should build your home to take advantage of both the sun and the wind.
You need to make sure that your house is orientated in the right position, that your windows are in the right spot, and that you have an appropriate overhang. This can cut heating bills by up to 80%, and the energy costs can be minimized or fully covered by utilizing wind and solar power.