Category: Altenrative Energy

What’s the Cheapest Kind of Alternative Energy?

Is There Really A Cheap Form of Alternative Energy?

solarpanelsHarnessing free, renewable, and sustainable energy from the sun, the wind, or the water sounds like a really good idea. However, no form of energy has proven reliable enough to replace more conventional sources of power in most areas. At least, they haven’t yet – mostly because of limitations imposed by the cost of installing new systems and batteries.

It might seem odd to think that something as common as batteries would be the holdup, but they really are. Think about the price jump between a simple D cell you can buy at the dollar store and the battery that runs your car. Now think how much more that batteries that can actually store enough energy to power your home or an entire city is. Until some breakthrough happens to reduce the price of batteries, “free” alternative energy is still a pretty expensive investment.

That means that you are free to experiment with solar, wind, or hydroelectricity at home. But you are likely to still rely upon the grid when conditions are not optimal because you cannot store power efficiently. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea to invest in alternative energy. On a sunny day, you can always sell excess power back to the grid. That might offset your power bill on a cloudy day.

You might start with a solar water heater

Actually, some people have been warming water by doing little more than painting a water tank black to absorb energy and setting it out in the sun. Black hoses connect this water source to places where it can be used. This is commonly practiced on farms and ranches to keep water from freezing so livestock can get a drink during the winter.

If you would like to replace your grid-powered home water heater with a solar water heater, expect to make an investment. You might decide to do this if you need to replace your water heater anyway. Additionally, the purchase could qualify for some tax credits that will defray the cost. It will probably take you a few years to make your money back, but you could have spent your money on a regular water heater that would never pay you back.

 

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