Rooftop solar, without the rooftops?
Published: 17 Aug 2016 By Grace Kimberley
Rooftop solar is an attractive option for long-term investors, especially consumers that are looking to be more environmentally friendly and/or are looking to make serious amounts of savings in the years to come on energy bills.
The problem is, only certain types of household rooftops can reap the extensive benefits of rooftop solar panels. Firstly, your roof has to be in the right position. If your rooftop is north-facing, solar companies will make a judgement but usually advise you not to operate solar panels. Of course, south-facing rooftops are ideal for solar panels and the optimum angle is 40-45 degrees. East and west-facing rooftops are still eligible for solar panels, but when calculated will not generate the optimum amount of energy compared to rooftops facing the south.
Of course, the possibilities for the US still remain great even if you do have an east or west-facing roof, due to the strong opportunities for sunlight. The UK, where the weather is extremely temperamental, has to be much pickier about where it puts its solar panels.
Taking this into consideration, there are a large amount of households that don’t have the option to put solar panels on their rooves. Queue, the dawn of the Community Solar Farm. Bloomberg has deemed this new operation as like rooftop solar, just without the rooftops. This growing idea is enabling consumers to buy into community solar farms that allow renters and apartment dwellers with large gardens to operate ‘solar gardens’.
“Everyone with an interest in solar can now participate,” said Eran Mahrer, director of utilities for Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar Inc., the biggest U.S. panel maker. “That’s particularly true in high urban densities. The market’s clearly accelerating.”
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