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Although there are numerous other methods of generating electricity, solar panels have a number of considerable advantages for both the consumer, the producer, and the environment.

Uses of Solar Panels
Solar panels are used to power all sorts of electronic equipment, from solar-powered handheld calculators that will function as long as sunlight is available, to remote solar-powered sensor arrays in bouys, and even some experimental vehicles and boats. Solar panels are also placed on outdoor lighting structures - the solar cell is charged during daylight hours, and at night, we get free electricity to keep our streets well-lit and secure. Solar panels are used extensively on satellites, where array of solar cells provide reliable power for the satellite's electrical systems.

Solar Power plants, which are large collections of solar panels arranged to generate commercial electricity, are becoming more and more frequent these days. While still between 2-5 times as expensive to produce as electricity from fossil fuels, electricity generated from solar panels is free, nearly infinitely abundant, and non-polluting. Many environmentally-minded communities across America have set up solar power stations to help generate private or commercial solar energy.

Powering homes with solar power has also been a major part of the solar revolution the last two decades have seen. Solar panels can be placed on the roof of homes, businesses, or remote research stations, and can be used independent of or in conjunction with the local power grid.

Advantages of solar panels
Solar panels are clean - while generating electricity from sunlight, solar panels produce virtually no pollution, whereas burning fossil fuels releases large quantities of toxic gases into the atmosphere.

For the consumer, solar panels can free the individual from reliance on the power grid and the monopolistic energy supplier. Once you make the initial investment in hardware, you will have free electricity for years to come.

Fossil Fuels are limited - Although fossil fuel reserves are expected to run dry within the next century, solar power is clean, abundant, and will remain a renewable resource that can meet all of Earth's energy needs for billions of years to come.

Low Maintenance
Little to no maintenance is required to keep a solar powered system functional.

Blackout Protection
An off grid residential solar power system is completely independent of the conventional power grid. Solar energy systems are not affected by grid power outages or brownouts.

Odour Free
No smelly by-products are produced as a result of solar energy use.

No Moving Parts
Panels will quietly collect energy for 40 plus years and manufacturers aren't afraid to back them up with 20 to 25 year warranties. It was believed in the 60's and 70's that a solar power system would function for around 20 years. We're now seeing that most systems established at that time are still functional. It is now believed that solar energy systems will last 40 or more years.

Remote locations
Cabins, sailboats, RV's, these are places where we really see the advantages of solar energy. Solar power is often much more cost effective to establish in remote areas than conventional power.

Independence
Not just for you and me but for our countries. Solar can free us from being dependent on volatile nations for fuel.

Self Sufficiency
Terrorism, pandemic, hurricane and all manner of calamity threaten as fuel prices climb to an unknown pinnacle. Who isn't wondering about the alternatives?