Stand alone, off grid power supply sources are one of the latest personal energy options offered by Elon Musk’s recently acquired Solar City. These small devices that plug into the wall of your home are one of the latest offerings by Musk’s new company that is a perfect accompaniment to the larger energy conscious company Tesla Motors. Musk has made news in recent years for his advancement of battery powered cars. Although first offered as only high vehicles with expensive price tags, more recently anxious consumers are lining up to pay more than $1000 in deposit to make sure that they can be among the first to purchase the lower priced model expected sometime in the next year.
What makes Solar City’s personal off grid miniature solar panels so unique is that it is one of the first times that a major corporation has offered an entry level product to individual consumers. Musk has long touted the benefits of battery operated cars as a way to move away from fossil fuel consumption. So much so, in fact, that he has made his technology available on the open market. It would seem that Musk’s Solar City company’s latest move to offer smaller off grid solar panels to individual consumers is a way for him to get society to further embrace the technology that will run his cars.
The realization that a stand alone, off grid solar power panel could provide free energy for such every day tasks like charging a cell phone could, Musk and other innovators may be thinking, encourage more people to open themselves to a new power source that is both clean and renewable.
Residential Solar Systems Allows Individual Families to Create Some of the Power That They Use on a Day to Day Basis
An interesting mix of Americans may find themselves gravitating toward new kinds of solar panels and other home solar system designs. In the past, the solar panel crowd may have attracted individuals who want to find a way to go off the grid and generate the power they use without government interference. In the future, however, the latest solar panel enthusiasts may be a green crowd that sees the use of fossil fuels as a depleted resource that is both dirty and diminishing.
The increased production and the technological advancements in the solar panel industry is understandably driving the popularity of this alternative energy source. First developed and used in remote areas that are not connected to energy grids solar power has been available for quite some time. According to Home Power Magazine, these same types of original customers seeking to be off the grid had increased to 180,000 houses as of 2006.
Although initial costs were prohibitive to some, increased research and development have brought the prices down significantly. In fact, the cost of solar panels has fallen approximately 100 times over since 1977. Solar panels today, for instance, are about half the cost they were in 2008. Lower prices mean that more and more Americans may be willing to try this alternative energy source.
In addition to moving off the grid, one of the benefits of solar panels is the nearly unlimited source of energy that is available. In fact, research indicates that a mere 0.02% of incoming sunlight, if correctly captured correctly, would be could replace every other fuel source currently used. Furthermore, only 0.0005 % of the earth would need to be covered with solar panels to power the entire planet.
Consider some of the other facts about the price, availability and use of solar energy:
- Commercial solar installations have increased by 487% in the past five years.
- The average solar panel size needed to power the average home is in America is 600 square feet.
- 75 million barrels of oil are saved annually by all of the current solar energy users.
- 35 million tons of carbon dioxide are saved annually by all of the current solar energy users.
- The average annual growth rate of global solar energy capacity is now at 102 %.
Whether you decide to start small with a stand alone, off the grid small personal solar energy option or by purchase a battery operated car or installing solar panels, it is likely that in some way your life will be impacted by solar energy.