Solar Power

Solar power is becoming more and more accessible for home use, both in terms of individual appliances (everything from garden lights to hot water systems) and in terms of whole of house electricity solutions, by way of a full rooftop solar panel installation.

When is Solar Worth It?

two rows of solar panels cover one side of our home's roof

With Australia’s clean energy investment at an all time high and solar costs continuing to fall, is now a good time to get solar for your roof? Here’s a guest post from PowerScout to help you assess your options. Most solar sales pitches extol the virtues of solar power and promise thousands of dollars in…

How to Make a Homemade Solar Oven, out of Cardboard!

Bread baking in a carboard box solar oven, seen from above.

The sun has poured its energy onto the earth for billions of years. The radiating warmth from the sun heats water, warms homes, and grows food. Amidst sweltering summer heat, a solar oven or cooker is a fantastic way to prepare a meal without heating up your home. There are myriad solar ovens available for…

What is the Future of Solar Power?

Solar panels at a solar power plant in Germany

Movies are definitely not the only things that look great in 3D, there is something else that has taken quite positively and effectively to being 3 dimensional. Solar Panels were designed in 3D in 2011 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and they are making waves again with new developments that might provide much needed…

US Places Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels

In October 2011, SolarWorld and 6 other US manufacturing companies lodged a petition claiming that the dumping of cheap Chinese solar panels onto the market was unfair and prevented them from competing in the manufacture of solar panels. Preliminary investigations suggest that the Chinese government has been providing subsidies to their solar industry to the…

Solar Power Costs Halved and Other Renewables News

The price of solar panels fell by almost 50% over 2011, contributing to a boom year for the solar industry – also contributing of course were deadlines for various solar grants and subsidy programs both here in Australia and over seas. What this means for homeowners of course, is that even if they have missed…

Three Reasons Solar Systems Are Worth the Cost in the US

Pile of solar panels ready to be installed on a roof

Many homeowners in the US are interested in solar power systems for their homes but are unsure if they are worth the upfront investment. The rising cost of electricity has sent a lot of people looking for alternative solutions, and solar energy is usually among the top alternatives that are considered. One problem people have…

China the world leader in renewables; wind most mature renewable energy: UN report

Wind turbines expanding along a ridge in Galicia, Spain

In 2010 China was the world leader in investment in renewable energy technology according to the UN’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011. Globally investment was up almost one third in 2010 over 2009, at a record US$211 billion, and for the first time developing economies put more into “financial new investment” than developed ones. Global increase…

Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power

Solar Panels reflect the sunlight

(This article updated March 2012) There are not too many people who really want to go back to with living without our modern appliances like stoves, fridges or air conditioners. The problem is that we need to figure out a way for powering our homes without destroying our world around us. Many are considering solar…

Solar Protest Action in Australia

Members of the solar sector in Australia have pronounced the 2011 Federal Budget, released last week, as “disappointing”. But Australian’s aren’t taking disappointment lying down. The Solar Last Chance Rally today is a response to the NSW Government permanently closing down their Solar Bonus Scheme (notably started by the previous government), and announcing last Friday…

Solar Power Boosts Home Values

A recent study in California found that having a rooftop solar power system installed significantly increased the value of homes. No surprise right? But the interesting thing was that the sale value of the homes with solar power increased by about the cost of installing the system – even though the original home owner had…

Solar lights – a good option for your garden

lantern

Many environmentally conscious homeowners are using solar lights to add lighting to their home’s exterior. Not only does using solar lights lessen your home’s carbon footprint and help conserve the environment, it will also save you money since you aren’t using any of your electricity to power them. One of the best things about adding…

Using DIY Solar Panels: Advantages and Disadvantages

Grape Solar GS-440-KIT Residential 440 Watt Grid-Tied Solar Power System Kit

Apart from the conscious effort to reduce our carbon footprint, one major factor that has convinced a lot of homeowners to install “do it yourself solar panels” is the rising cost of electricity bills. But before we go into the advantages and disadvantages of making your own solar panels (or using DIY kits), we have…

Guest Editorial: Focus On Solar Energy

With all the talk of conventional energy being on the way out and the world needing to find sustainable alternatives, let’s focus on solar energy. Solar energy is basically gathering the energy found in sunlight and turning it into electrical energy. It is a cheap and effective way of generating power which does not produce…

GuestPost: Looking At The Best Home Solar Panels

One of the most important benefits of solar panels is to provide electricity in areas  that are “off-grid”. This is a term used in regard to a residence that is not serviced by an electric company because it is too remote and it simply doesn’t pay them to have the electric service run to these…

Guestpost: A Solar Decking Light Can Save You Money

A Linkable Solar Decking Tile with Four Bright White LED Lights

Everyone loves a backyard barbecue. And if you want that BBQ to kick on into the night, some kind of outdoor light is in order to keep a barbecue party ongoing until after sunset. Now you can use solar powered LED garden lights to light your parties, and have them come on automatically as it…