Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sunshine, the ultimate source of energy

Image by George Hodan

Did you know we're having a solar eclipse today? But from what I hear, it will only be visible in parts of Australia and some spots in the ocean, so unless you're in that area, you can forget about seeing it.

Where I am, we're having a typical Pittsburgh day. Cloudy and grey with surprised of sunshine thrown in for variety. My laundry is outside hanging on the line, albeit quite damp still. I'll have to transfer it to my basement line by the end of the day.

While I love variety, I would still enjoy more sunshine if I had the choice. Not Tuscan-type sun, which I would find to be monotonous and stifling, but Pennsylvania sun, shining in through the windows leaving patches on the floor when the kitties would stretch out for a mid-afternoon nap. Yeah, that kind of sun.

For the areas where sunshine is the norm, I cannot fathom why more people and businesses are not using solar energy. In a time when more and more consumers are looking for ways to save on energy, solar power makes so much sense. 

Of course, there are the common objections and misconceptions. I've spoken to people who say, "It's too expensive." Well, of course, the initial investment is a bit steep. Having a solar electric panel installed is going to cost you more initially than continuing with your current energy supplier and paying your monthly bills. However, once you pay off the solar installation, you have to keep in mind that your energy is now FREE! The sun is happy to loan you its rays so that you can be your own power company and you'll eliminate that monthly bill. How awesome would that be? And you can't forget the tax credits you'll receive for going green in such a big way!

Others object to the appearance of solar panels. They say they're ugly. I beg to differ. For me, nothing looks more beautiful than the look of conservation. Conserving the earth's resources is exactly what we should all be doing, yet so few actually do. 

Solar energy is not a fad, as some have suggested. My uncle and aunt built a home in Lancaster County several decades ago and they installed solar panels. They also planted a woods around their home. Eventually, as the trees shaded their home, the solar panels were removed and they went with a more conventional way of powering their house. Things have come a long way since then!

I'm really not sure that solar energy is the way to go for a Western Pennsylvanian like me, but if I were living in a sunshine state, like California or Florida, this is definitely the route I'd go.

Are any of you living in or working in a solar-powered home or building? I would love to hear your feedback.


  1. My parents have a solar panel at their house. They don't use it for their home; they sell the energy to the power company, making a pretty penny because of government grants. My Dad has a lot of fun looking at the sun's energy for each day.

    1. That's very cool. Why don't they use any of it for themselves?


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