I would love to be able to install solar panels to my house.
Photovoltaic panels convert light energy into electricity. In such a middling climate as we have in the UK the opportunities to be self sufficient in your own home with solar energy are more limited than in other parts of the world though many people have taken up the opportunity. For a domestic house you need to have a sloping roof facing the south or possibly west and east but definitely not north. It needs to have no interruptions to the sun’s rays – no shadows from trees or neighbouring buildings.
|Row of solar panelled houses from The Guardian|
Excess electricity produced which is most likely in the summer months, is sold back - in the UK - to the electricity companies as the panels are connected to the national grid. Solar power is one of the cleanest methods of energy production known but of course nothing is ever as simple as we would like it to be. It seems that the technological barriers to harvesting this energy are great - think collection, distribution, and storage.
And there are issues about how solar power works alongside our existing electricity. It seems that in Australia for instance that
It is pretty hard to imagine all this though. Most people find understanding electricity hard enough on its own!