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How Many People Are Using Solar Panels?

With the renewed interest in alternative power sources, solar power is becoming more popular. So, what are the figures on its use?

Solar energy is one of the fastest growing forms of eco-friendly energy in the world today. Along with wind power and hydropower, solar power is a “green” form of renewable energy that is helping to make the Earth less dependent on fossil fuels and other forms of polluting energy. Solar energy is cheaper than many other types of energy, as well as being better for the environment, but sadly, only a small numbers of people using solar panels are in the United States at this time.

Solar power is the process of using the sun's rays to produce energy. This energy (electricity) is created by solar panels, which are a collection of solar cells that are formed into a sheet. The solar cells absorb the sunlight, and through this process, the electromagnetic radiation from the sun is converted into energy that is usable by homes and other buildings. Solar power can be used as a means of electric power, or it can be used to heat a home. The amount of power coming off of the sun each day is intense – there is enough electromagnetic energy produced every 24 hours to power the entire world for 27 years.

Solar power is also the ultimate in renewable resources, because as long as the sun exists, there will be solar energy to harness and use. No resources on Earth are consumed to create solar power, so there is nothing that can be used up. Today, more and more countries are looking to solar power to fill their energy and electricity needs – with some countries like Japan having had a growth rate of 63 percent for solar energy usage in the past five years.

The use of solar panels to obtain electricity and heat is growing, but it is still extremely small when compared to other types of energy. It is estimated that only .1 percent of the United States' electricity and power come from solar panels and solar energy, which is hardly enough to make a difference in the amount of fossil fuels used. In fact, the most destructive form of energy production, the burning of coal, actually accounts for the largest percentage of energy in the US: 52percent. Not only is coal a major pollutant, it is non-renewable and destructive to the land it must be mined from.

Whether you choose to be among the people using solar panels to obtain their energy, or the many others who are seeking wind and other alternative means for their energy, you will be helping the environment. Your contribution to a cleaner world will be felt now as well as far into the future.

Rick Chapo is with SolarCompanies.com - a directory of solar companies.

Source: www.articledashboard.com