Photovoltaic cells directly convert sunlight into electricity. In the past few decades, this elegant source of solar energy has become more efficient, cheaper, and more versatile in how and where they can be put to use. As the world ever-so-slowly weans itself from a dependence on fossil fuels, solar power from PV cells is playing an important role in meeting society’s need for electricity.
Photovoltaic panels offer numerous benefits:
- PV operates cleanly. There are no emissions or pollution associated with the use of solar panels.
- Photovoltaics provide a highly reliable system. Once PV panels are in place and providing electricity, they are very low-cost and low maintenance.
- Modular PV panels can be used in a wide variety of sizes and configurations, as standalone sources of electricity, or as an integral component of a residential, commercial, or industrial buildings.
- Photovoltaic is increasingly cost-competitive with alternative sources of electricity, such as oil, natural gas, coal or nuclear. Exact comparisons are difficult due to government subsidies, but PV costs are now comparable.
- PV panels allow greater independence and freedom of choice. Individual users can generate power away from an established electricity grid. Over time, our country can reduce the need to import fuels to generate electricity.