Solar Powered Cars in Sydney?

As solar power increases in popularity, the use of solar panels to power technology increases to span different genres. Solar powered calculators are commonplace, as are solar panels for cellphone charging purposes. Now, Ford’s green innovations have come in the form of an electric plug-in car that also can siphon energy from the sun. The new concept car has been dubbed the Ford C Max Solar Energi, and if it ends up being produced en masse, it will be the very first hybrid car in history to also have a solar panel on its rooftop.

Ford recently unveiled and displayed the C Max Solar Energi at a show in Las Vegas as a hybrid vehicle compact car. Promoters touting its unique way of supporting green efforts are especially proud about the Energi’s unique sun-hunting tech. Using a variety of sensors, the Energi’s solar panels shift positions throughout the day and year in order to get the most sun possible regardless of the car’s position, the season it currently is, or even the time of day. In fact, the Energi even has a self-parking feature that allows the car to creep a few feet forward or back within several hours in order to help the panels absorb as much light as possible.

The car does have its issues that need to be pounded out before any thoughts of selling could happen. It will take a lot of work to make the solar panels keep the car in continuous motion for a long time, even though the C Max Solar is supposed to be a very lightweight, easily driven compact car. There may also be some issues with the new car’s self-parking functions which may in turn cause problems along the lines of small accidents, parking tickets, and other such hiccups. Chances are that if the car is produced on a very large scale, it will not be allowed to move by itself. Ford will not be able to sell the car until these issues have been fixed.

As of right now, there have been no announcements about whether or not the Ford C Mad Energi willn be perfected and sent to be produced en masse. There are no specific dates about when the news would be made, if it would be made, nor have there been any estimates on how much a hybrid solar car would cost. So, right now, everything is a big maybe.

Even so, the concept C Max Solar Energi is a clear example of the power that solar energy can potentially have, as well as the interest that people have in incorporating it into all aspects of our lives. Today, we are just beginning to see the seeds of a wave of solar powered electric hybrids being created and conceptualized for the very first time. It should not take too long to see real life versions of these kinds of cars on the roads of Sy

The Solar Race Continues

Solar power isn’t just a trend according to many – it’s a powerful political statement that savvy politicians want to make. Countries around the globe have been hustling to get the ecologically-friendly title of the first country to fully switch its main power usage to solar. Australia can proudly say that its citizens have been leading much of the world when it comes to private solar usage, and that the local laws and tax credits have made solar panel installation much more affordable than it would be elsewhere.

Other major players in the race to become a solar country include China and America, and the competition between those two is getting steeper than ever. America has always been viewed as a leader in solar panel installation, especially when it comes to promoting the technology. China, on the other hand, often is regarded as a country that pays little attention to the welfare of its local flora and fauna. It’s a country that has been repeatedly made famous for its highly pollutive power plants, its manufacturing pollution nightmare, and its toxic food crises.

Some news recently leaked out that may change the way that people are seeing China’s environmental policy. According to several sources, China recently outdid America in terms of solar panel installation. Chinese companies have been taking the lead at manufacturing highly efficient, low cost solar panels and exporting them globally. The Chinese government has been backing these endeavors with lavish amounts of money, including specially funded education programs for people who want to become part of the new solar-based economy. This is clearly a surprising turn of events from China’s long history of being less than careful about its ecological footprint.

One would hope that Aussies could not only lead the world in private solar panel installation, but also in manufacturing. However, this isn’t the case. Unfortunately, China is definitely leading Australia in terms of solar panel manufacturing and export. However, we shouldn’t let this be any reason to be discouraged when it comes to switching to solar energy. As long as people are doing their part by lessening humanity’s intense need for fossil fuels, we should encourage it.

It’s true that some solar experts in Australia are disappointed that we are not in the lead in terms of manufacturing, but a bit of perspective may help shed a little sunniness on this issue. Many solar experts are very relieved to see that even developing countries are making major pushes towards solar energy. After all, developing industrial countries like China and India often produce a lot of waste, smoke, and pollution due to their need for fossil fuels. If we as a planet can help them make the switch to solar, we will all benefit from a healthier Earth in the future.

Solar Energy At Night

Much of the world is now slowly making the switch from traditional fossil fuels to solar energy, and that’s great news for people who are environmentally conscious. However, just like with any other form of energy production, solar energy panels still do have their faults that need to be noted. One of the biggest ones, of course, is the limits on how much sunlight can be absorbed in a single day. It shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that solar energy is a technological advancement that is commonly thought of as a daytime-only thing. After all, the sun isn’t exactly present during night, and solar panels rely on sunlight to generate energy.

However, the notion of solar energy production being a solely daytime action may be a thing of the past thanks to recent improvements in the efficiency of solar panels. The way that solar panels work is pretty simple – they absorb certain kinds of lightwaves and photons, and use them to create an electrical current. When they first were created, solar panels were only able to convert a very small amount of the light that they received into power. As years passed and technology continued to improve, more and more daylight was being converted by each solar panel created.

Recently, serious progress has been made in terms of what wavelengths of light can produce a sizable amount of electrical energy. At first, it just ended up making it easier for solar panels to get energy from a wider range of colored lights, or for panels to simply make more energy with the same amount of light. In the last couple of years, several scientific groups recently made solar panels that were so efficient at creating energy that they didn’t even need to be in direct sunlight in order to do it. That’s right – there are panels out there that can make energy during the night.

The way it works is actually quite reasonable. Though it is definitely dark at night, it is not pitch black. The sun’s rays are reflected by the moon, which lights up the Earth. Moreover, the light from distant stars still reaches the Earth too. This small amount of light is actually enough for the latest generation of solar panels to create energy. Though it isn’t much energy, the fact that solar panels can now provide some function at night is a major sign that solar panels are about to overcome one of their biggest obstacles – the limit of how many hours of sun exposure they can have.

Seeing solar panels make energy at night is not only extremely surprising, but also exceptionally great news for people who are rooting for solar energy. Granted, solar panels still function best in broad daylight, unhindered by shade from nearby trees. That fact isn’t going to change soon, but the truth is that this just goes to show you how everyone can cut down on their electricity bills with solar panel installation – even in the shadiest of circumstances.

The Grid’s Death Spiral

Solar energy experts have been talking about the slow and painful death spiral of traditional energy consumption – also known as being “on the grid.” With solar panel installation making it easy for frugal and environmentally conscientious families to avoid spending money on traditional fossil fuel created energy, many energy providers are growing concerned about their ability to keep their market share. Experts note that as the price of fossil fuels increases, many traditional electric companies’ ability to keep their market interest will likely wane. Insiders to the solar energy phenomenon have been calling this soon-to-occur event the “Grid’s Death Spiral,” mainly because the need for staying on traditional electric companies’ grids is slowly dying out. Many factors have contributed to this unusual change of events.

As one would typically expect to hear, there are many different issues that are causing traditional electric companies to shake in their boots. The rapidly increasing focus on alternative energy sources (including solar, wind, and geothermal) has been causing PR problems for many companies. The most common alternative energy form, solar, doesn’t even require government approval in order for people to benefit from it, nor do they need government funding. Fully aware of the danger that fossil fuel consumption poses, politicians have even made an effort to push alternative fuels while decrying the use of oil and coal to power homes and companies.

PR is not the only issue that traditional electricity companies are facing – much of the struggle is financial. People have been seeing traditional energy sources negatively for quite some time, and the fact that innovative tech has made it more affordable than ever to get solar panels installed is not helping. Along with recent advances in solar energy, government bonuses, rebates, and credits have made it financially sound to get off the grid in many cases. Fossil fuels continue to climb in price, making it very difficult to compete with alternative energy forms that don’t rely on them.

Recent advancements, including the use of batteries with rooftop solar panels, have made it very possible for homes and businesses alike to stay off the grid permanently. Effectively, this new innovation could possibly make the majority of energy being used free of charge, making the need for fossil fuel electricity completely and totally obsolete. If everyone switches to battery-and-solar power, it’s more than likely that people will have no need for the grid as we know it today in the future.

Many solar experts have stated that the outlook of traditional energy sources is quite bleak, and have even said that people should expect major changes within the next couple of decades. With Australia being one of the top solar energy using countries in the world, it might be very possible that we will be able to see history unfold. Will the Aussie grid be the first one to become obsolete? We don’t know, but we can do our best to try to make it happen sooner rather than later.

Sydney Solar Energy Growth – Is It Still Booming?

Solar energy is very popular, and people who live in Sydney have probably noticed a massive boom in the number of homes,  businesses, and schools that have solar panels installed on them. In fact, statistics show that Australia leads the world when it comes to solar panel installation. Thanks to the many highly publicised government programs and rebates, getting solar panel installation in Sydney and other parts of Australia has become a lot more affordable for people of all backgrounds. Most experts credit these programs with the boom in solar energy, but there is a bad side to all of this. Many of those programs are quietly being phased out, leaving people to wonder if the solar industry is still booming in Sydney and the rest of Australia.

When it comes to the solar boom around the world, much of it makes a shocking amount of sense. There are regions in the world which would only be able to get efficient, affordable power through solar panels, and due to the lower price in solar panel manufacturing, those areas are seeing electricity for the first time in history. In almost every single industrialized country, solar power programs are being pushed by government officials, and people are installing solar panels. So abroad, there is definitely a very steady growth occurring, so the boom abroad is still quite in full swing.

In Australia, there is  a lot of evidence that suggests that solar panel installation will continue to rise steeply. Between the overall lower prices of solar panels, the aggressive advertising done by solar companies, and the general popularity of this alternative energy option, solar panels have a lot of pull with people who need electricity…and that really is all of us. As many of the programs get repealed, people will notice that the price for solar panels will still steadily decrease. This means that solar panels will still be accessible, and that they will be a smart buy in the future just as much as they are right now.

Because the prices will remain low, and the energy they provide will continue to save Aussies money on electrical bills, solar panels are going to continue to rise in popularity. Some numbers even show that the amount of solar panel installations taking place in Australia right now continues to grow even to this day. Australia’s solar panel boom is not only still going on thanks to these technological innovations, but is actually really just getting started.

Most experts agree that solar energy growth in Australia is nowhere near its pinnacle, and that the numbers of homes and businesses that get solar panel installation will continue to skyrocket. With some hope and a little more work on the tech side of things, there’s a pretty big possibility that almost every home will have solar panels on its roof within the next couple of decades. All that we can say for certain is that solar power is just starting to get popular.

Why Wind Power Will Not Replace Solar Power

Alternative energy choices are definitely in, and are definitely necessary throughout the world. Very few alternative energy sources have proven themselves to be even close to as popular and easy to manage as solar panel installation. Out of all of the alternative power options out there, wind power is often hailed as the second runner up to the almighty solar panel. Still, there’s a reason why people should not expect this somewhat promising alternative energy source to replace the popularity of solar panel installation anytime soon. Here are some of the biggest reasons why.

  • Some places are just not windy, and wind doesn’t always happen. Wind power is just not as reliable as solar power. You will find days, even in the windiest of places, when the wind just doesn’t blow. When that happens, wind turbines won’t generate too much energy. On the other hand, solar panels can create energy even on cloudy days. After all, the sun will always rise tomorrow.
  • Wind power isn’t really feasible in areas where you don’t have wide open spaces. Areas like the South American rain forest and certain cities don’t really have the space for wind turbines without serious consequences. Wind turbines DO take up a lot of space. This is not going to change anytime soon.
  • Wind turbines aren’t exactly the kind of thing that you can install on your rooftop. Have a desire to get energy from wind turbines, but your local council won’t install them? Too bad. You don’t really have a choice on it, unlike with solar panel installation.  Due to the size of wind turbines, you need the city to help fund, approve and build them.
  • Oi, they are an eyesore! Solar panels have been called attractive by people who have installed them on rooftops. On the other hand, wind turbines are almost always called an eyesore by people driving past roads equipped with them.
  • “Side effects may include…” Having a roof with solar panels only has a side effect of having a higher valued home. On the other hand, wind turbines have been linked to killing birds flying through the air, loud buzzing noises, and according to a scant few rumors, health problems in people who live close to them. The side effects of being near wind turbines have been nicknamed “Wind Turbine Syndrome” by doctors investigating the effects, and the effects can include nausea, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, and irritability. That really doesn’t sound to environmentally friendly, does it?

Wind turbines are a step in the right direction, mainly because they are helping people wean off their addiction to coal and other fossil fuels. But are they really the next big thing? We really don’t believe so, and if you ask any Aussie who has solar panels installed on their homes, they’ll probably agree. As far as we can tell, solar panel installation is definitely going to remain the way that people will get their energy in the future.

Solar Power And You – How Much Could You Save?

Solar panel installation is generally regarded as one of the best ways to make your dollar stretch for the long term when it comes to your electrical bills. Of course, tax credits that people and businesses get to enjoy from their solar panels are also a nice financial perk to be expected. However, this doesn’t mean that a single solar panel will be the end of your electric bills forever. Here’s what you should and should not expect when getting solar panels.

  • A typical solar panel installation will greatly reduce your electric bills from  month to month. The average home will save ten thousand dollars or more over 15 years when they get solar panels. So, you can rest at ease that you will save a substantial amount of money on your electricity bills.
  • If you have large solar panels and don’t use much electricity, it’s possible you could actually get paid for the electricity you produce. A common practice among many countries with electricity in high demand, really frugal individuals may end up getting a small pay check once in a while if they are good with energy saving. The checks don’t usually amount to much – if you even get one – but it could be a couple extra hundred dollars per month.
  • The amount of money that you save will ebb and flow throughout the year. Different factors will affect how much energy your solar panels will provide, and how much money you will have to spend on energy. If it’s a particularly warm summer, you might have to spend more on air conditioning than you normally would if it was fall or winter. If it’s a particularly cold summer, your electricity costs will likely go down, and you will also likely produce more electricity due to the bigger amount of sunny days.
  • Size matters. The bigger the solar panels being installed are, the more sunlight they will capture, which in turn will mean the more electricity you make. Obviously, the more electricity you make, the lower your bills are.
  • It also depends on your status and tax situation. Clearly, the tax credits offered to businesses outfitting their buildings with solar panels have the potential to be bigger. And bigger tax incentives definitely can mean bigger savings. Still, the amount you could save on taxes, at least for a couple of years, should be a big incentive for families looking into solar panel installation for their homes. (We like to think of it as an added perk.)

Solar panel installation will save you money in the long run, no matter how you look at it. And according to almost every expert you’ll meet, the amount of cash you’ll save throughout the decades will be quite substantial. Most even place the savings at tens of thousands of dollars, which is enough to get you a new car! So why wait any longer? Start installing your solar panels and saving money as soon as you can!

Five questions to ask your Sydney service provider

Solar system installation is a big, big deal. It can cost upwards of $40,000 in some cases, and it will be a decision that will save you thousands on your electrical bill. People have a variety of reasons why they switch to solar energy: they want to help the environment, they think that it will be worth it in the long run (it is!), they want to increase the value of their home, etc. While it’s easy to think of reasons why one should install solar panels, most don’t think of the big “what if’s” that can occur. Before you sign a contract, ask each solar system sales expert these about these unlikely but important scenarios.

  • What if the solar system isn’t as efficient as it’s expected to be? This can simply be a miscalculation, or it could be a sign of a failed solar panel. If you have solar panels that aren’t actually working, you will need to figure out what to do next. Some solar system installation companies will reinstall them if they find out that they are not functional. Others will have you contact the panel manufacturer to get replacements. Others still will advise you to read up on their warranty policy.
  • What if something breaks the solar panel? If a falling branch hits your solar panel and cracks it, it would have to be a pretty massive branch! However, these things have happened in the past, and it could happen to you. Most solar system installation companies will suggest taking out insurance on the panels, or will offer to fix them. Still, it’s best to ask what would happen.
  • What if we find out that we could have gotten more rebates after the installation? Sometimes, those rebates can still be retroactively applied. Ask a solar system specialist what you can and should do beforehand. Ideally, your specialist and you will have discovered all the credits and rebates you can possibly attain before the panels are installed.
  • What if something goes wrong during the installation process? This normally would never happen, but if it does, the company that you choose to do your solar system installation should fix it. No solar system company should ever expect you to pay for damages that they did to your home, and it might not even be legal for them to do so.
  • What happens if the solar system damages my home after they are installed? This normally never would happen, but if there is a major storm that causes problems with roofing, it could possibly happen. Most solar system installation companies in Sydney will tell you that this is an issue that is best brought up with your homeowner’s insurance company. It’s worth noting that many policies will also cover the damage done to the solar system if the solar panels were affected along with the roofing.

Great solar system companies will hire people who are exceptionally knowledgeable about the different scenarios people can run into when dealing with solar system installation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you aren’t sure whether you’re ready to go forward. It’s the only way you’ll find out.

Why Are So Many Solar System Installation Rebates Disappearing?

One of the most disheartening things for a solar power enthusiast to hear about is yet another rebate or tax credit for solar system installation biting the dust. Yet, though it isn’t exactly a popular decision, the Australian government continues to bring more and more programs offering financial incentives for solar system installation to a close. Many people have benefit from these incentives, and economic experts have even credited these kinds of programs for the massive surge in interest in solar power. Considering the amount of success stories that rebates, tax credits, and pushes from the government have generated, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would want these programs to disappear. So, why are they?

Political analysts, solar panel experts, and economists have narrowed down a couple of reasons why homeowner rebates and tax credits are getting slated to close.

  • Solar panels are not as expensive as they used to be. Many of the tax credits and rebates that were established were done so with the idea that a typical set of solar panels would cost homeowners over $70,000. In fact, when some of the incentives were put into place, solar panel installation was even more expensive than buying a couple of cars. Rebates were created as a way to get them to be more affordable for the average family. With some solar system installation work costing as little as $18,000, it’s no longer as out of reach as it once was.
  • Many of the tax credits were never really supposed to last as long as they did. There have been several cases where tax credits and incentive programs were only supposed to last one or two years, yet were extended for several more due to their success rates and popularity. Even so, since they were designed with a temporary fix in mind, the fact is that the incentives that are being pulled for this reason were never actually going to be permanent.
  • It’s sometimes a case of “Mission Accomplished.” When a program has accomplished what it’s been created to do, there’s not much reason to keep it around. A program’s success can be it’s death knell in certain situations, and several major programs that the government had created are good examples of these kinds of situations.
  • It’s too expensive to keep up. Some of the rebates that were being offered by the Aussie government officials would pay people up to $20,000 or more for installing their solar panels. That much money being paid to one person is a lot, but when you take into consideration how many people received money from these rebates, it’s clear how pricey the programs could be in terms of upkeep and maintenance. Sometimes, a program’s success makes it too pricey to keep up without harming other parts of the economy.
  • Sometimes, it’s really not working like it’s supposed to. There have been cases where solar panel tax credits did way more harm than good to local economies. When politicians and economists notice this happening, they do their best to pull the plug on the program before it’s too late.

Great programs that were focused on solar energy’s spread have come and gone, but that doesn’t always mean that they are gone for good. If there is enough of an uproar in the local community, lawmakers will do their part to bring back some of the top quality programs that have since gone the way of the Dodo. However, it’s important to remember that what they aimed to accomplish, and the fact that solar panels are now very affordable, and very popular. Isn’t that really the goal you want to see?

How Solar Power Is Revolutionizing Australia’s Rural Areas

Anyone who has ever driven through the Outback of Australia can tell you that it is not exactly the most pleasant place to live. Between vicious animals, poisonous snakes, and very, very low human populations, it’s a wonder that anyone would live out here of their own free will. Sadly, it is extremely expensive for all parties involved to provide reliable electricity to the most unpopulated regions of Australia. Many groups had to rely on gasoline-powered generators, or pay exorbitant amounts of money for extremely expensive electricity.
Being on the grid, if you were living in a very sparsely populated part of Australia, was very expensive. Or, you know, it was very expensive, until solar system installation became more widespread. Now that solar system installation is more widespread, groups that live in the Aussie outback are able to get off-grid electricity at a lower price than ever before.

For zoologists, science crews, and others who live out in this veritable no man’s land, the dire lack of reliable electricity often meant major problems in terms of the quality of living that they could expect while in this region. Imagine having to choose between hot water and a working telephone, or having to pay several times as much as you normally do for the amount of energy that you use. It wasn’t too long ago that this was the reality for many people in remote parts of Australia.

Though it is true that many parts of remote Australia are not quite with the solar energy craze yet, this isn’t going to be the case for long. Several major factors that have been impeding the spread of solar panel installation in these regions, such as the price of labor, the price of bringing the parts to these areas, and the subsidies that are given to fossil fuels, are now being broken down.

According to many in the solar energy community, one of the biggest initial barriers that kept people from installing solar panels in these areas was a lack of education and a lack of trust in the technology. In recent years, the government’s creation of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has brought the benefits of solar power to the forefront of the public eye. As more and more Australians learn about the benefits of solar power, the rebates and credits that they are able to receive for them, as well as how easy they are to maintain, more people are looking into solar power as an off-grid solution to their energy needs.

Of course, the biggest barrier, price, is one that has yet to be fully overcome. However, technological advances as well as increased incentives for remotely located Aussies are starting to improve the chances of homeowners, businesses, and government officials overcoming this major issue. As solar energy continues to boom in popularity, it’s quite possible that people are going to see an amazing change in the way that folks in remote parts of Australia live life.