What is Solar Power: An answer you might not expect
You might think the question ‘What is solar power?‘ would have been answered dozens of times by now, with everything from a technical answer to related questions such as ‘How is solar power produced’ or ‘What does solar energy do’, to simple answers for the layman just trying to learn how to save some money. But there’s an aspect of solar power that I feel is often left unanswered by those researching this environmentally responsible, renewable energy source. Solar power is more than just a way to save, or even make money at the expense of your local utility provider. The answer to ‘What is Solar Power?’ can be a philosophical and ideological decision made to support one’s views on moral responsibility to this world we live in.
What is Solar Power?
- A Way Of Life – Taking greater responsibility to steward the world we live in.
- Freedom to Decide – How much power you use, when, and whether to pay or be paid.
- A source of Autonomy – Start being your own power company.
A new way of life
So when I’m asked ‘What is Solar Power?‘ the first part of my answer is ‘a way of life’. When I chose to switch over to solar power, it was not just to help reduce my power bill, but to reduce my overall dependence on those sources of electricity that were simply irresponsible from an environmental viewpoint. Every watt of power I get from the life-giving sun is one less watt I need to get from the grid, and one less watt being generated with fossil fuels that generate greenhouse gasses in their use. This means that by using solar power, I’m making sure the world I leave behind for my grandchildren’s grandchildren will be a little less polluted.
Freedom to Decide
My second answer to ‘What is solar power?’ is freedom. Freedom to decide how much power I need, how much I want to pay for it, and whether to decrease my dependence on this source of power, or to increase my solar power array to gather more. It’s been years since I have been dependent on the grid for power, and almost as long since I have had to use a single watt of the power they provide. More often I find myself being the recipient of a very nice check for the excesses of power I send out into the grid, the amount above and beyond what I have had to use of my own generated electricity.
My third answer to ‘What is solar power?’ is self-sufficiency. I live in an area of the country that is regularly plagued by destructive Summer storms and vicious blizzards in winter. These are of course the extremes of where I live, but before I got my solar panels installed, I was regularly without power for days at a time before the local utility company was able to get the local grid back online. Now I simply turn off the converter sending electricity out into the grid, and wait until the lines are restored to start sending power out into the grid. I haven’t had to be without power for years, at worst I have had to clear away debris and snowfall from the panels themselves to get power flowing again, but then it was life as usual from there on out.
‘What is solar power?’, it’s freedom, self-sufficiency, and a way of life that has made me have the confidence and security of knowing that I’ll never be without power so long as the sun still shines. I have had to make some small modifications to my lifestyle to ensure I’m never using grid power, but these have reaped the rewards of a home that is always the perfect temperature, the knowledge that I’m making the world a better place for my children’s children, and the occasional check from the company I used to fret over paying.
For more information on what solar power is, read the article about Renewable Energy and the Types of Renewable Energy.