Renewable energy is by far the most important of all energies we have discovered since the advent of electrical power. This importance stems from the fact that, unlike non-renewable energy, it is clean, causing no harm to the environment, and it is inexhaustible, as it does not rely on limited supplies of fuel.
You may wish to switch to renewable energy out of concern for the environment, or you may just want to save money. Perhaps you want to make money, as you can sell surplus energy back to the grid. Whatever your aim, the result is a healthier environment, and cleaner energy, so it’s a good thing to go renewable, and sell that power back to the grid.
“Sell back to the grid” is a common phrase when talking about generating your own electricity. The grid itself is little more than a group of equipment and cables, the purpose of which being to distribute the electricity across a certain area, such as a town, or part of a city. The way a grid works allows for power to be fed in from any point for redistribution, which allows for a home or business to [relatively] easily give electricity back to the grid.
One popular method of achieving this is via the use of solar panels. These panels use photovoltaic cells to convert solar energy, or sunlight, into electricity. That electricity is then either used, or fed back into the grid. Another popular way of generating electricity is that of wind power. Using wind turbines, which are effectively big pinwheels attached to an electrical generator, we are able to convert the kinetic energy of wind into electricity.
Selling that electricity back to the grid is not the easiest thing to do, given the nature of electricity, and how it is distributed, but you could be issued a Renewable Energy Certificate, which will smooth the process somewhat. PURPA decided that a certain amount of electricity used must come from renewable sources, and any electricity given back to the grid that is from renewable sources will count toward that amount, so it is in the electricity company’s interest to certify you, if you meet the criteria, making it a win-win situation for both you, and the utility company.
The Ultimate Question: How Much?
Giving a rough figure as a guide to how much you might earn is tricky. A number of factors affect the ultimate result, such as the weather in your area (solar panels aren’t so great under constant cloud cover), and the amount of electricity you use (remember, you need to generate more than you use to get paid), but the average household with a decent solar panel installation might expect to make around three thousand dollars a year from their renewable energy.
As with many things in life, proper research should be done before venturing into the world of renewable energy. There will always be certain restrictions on what you can and can’t do, and you will need to make sure your installation fits within any building codes, as well as making sure you don’t have your installation improperly placed (solar panels also don’t work too well in the shade). Fortunately, you can hire professionals to help with both the research, and the installation.
Hopefully, this article will help you get started on the path to making energy, making money, and making the world a cleaner place.