In addition to positive environmental impacts, the use of solar power and other renewable energy sources can provide economic benefits and promote energy independence, reliability and security.
To promote solar energy use at county government facilities The National Association of Counties Green Government Initiative produced this primer. The report provides an overview and brief examples, with associated costs and benefits, from counties that have utilized these systems. It also identifies funding mechanisms and regulatory issues that can be encountered as solar energy systems are adopted in greater numbers.
The different types of solar energy systems highlighted in the report include:
- Concentrating Solar Power Systems
- Photovoltaic systems
Solar Water Heating
- Flat plate system
- Integral collector-storage system
- Evacuated tube solar collector system
Solar Building Heating Systems
- Passive systems
- Active systems which include liquid- and air-based systems
- Outdoor Lighting
- Indoor Lighting
This is a useful overview of solar energy systems beyond the most popularly-known photovoltaic and solar water heating. It utilizes a number of diverse examples of solar installations and technologies that demonstrates the versatility of this resource and gives local governments more information on how to integrate solar energy in smaller ways if economics prohibit larger scale installations. This primer does a good job relating the relative costs of systems however it should be noted that solar systems should only be considered for buildings that have maximized energy efficiency technologies such as infiltration control and efficient mechanical systems.
Energy efficiency is the process of using less energy to produce the same or increased functions. Often used mistakenly as a synonym for ENERGY CONSERVATION. The ability or potential of a physical body to do work. The most common forms of energy are heat, light, mechanical (moving parts), and electrical.
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