Solar energy is one of the best forms of renewable energy. The question many people ask is how good it is for homes in a cold climate.

There seems to be an energy crisis underway and seems to be getting worse as time passes. It’s a crisis on two levels environmental and economical. Fossil fuels are likely the biggest pollutants entering the atmosphere - they are a major cause of global warming. Some disagree with this it’s difficult to argue the economical side of this – oil prices are rising!

Another thing that is impossible to argue is the fact that fossil fuels are finite. As a matter of fact, peak oil production topped out last year, 2007. From this point foward, less oil will be produced until it runs out sometime at the end of this century. Someday you’ll look back at today’s high gas prices and consider them cheap! Solar energy is being looked at more and more, it is clean and renewable energy, the sun shines down on us whether we like it or not.

So what about people living in a cooler climate, can they use solar energy as a power source? Yes they can. Solar power comes from the energy that’s naturally in sunlight. The energy from a day’s amount of sunlight could meet your needs for an entire year. Capturing that energy though is based on a chemical reaction, it has nothing to do with heat. Solar panel receiving similar sunlight in hot or cold climates will produce the same electrical current. So, it doesn’t matter at all if you live in southern Florida or northern Maine. The important point  is how much sunlight you get.

There are a couple of cons against using solor panels in cooler regions. Battery cells are affected by the weather. If you live in an area that does get cold and wintry weather, your batteries might not charge properly since cooler weather tends to drain the batteries power just like a vehicle battery. Plus, in winter, there may be shorter and cloudier days so the batteries may not charge adequately. In some climates the worst problem is the solar light might even get buried in the snow. You can clear the snow from the panels but if they’re on the roof as most are, it is dangerous and you may damage the panels.

If you live in a cold climate, for the most part don’t discount using solar panels for your energy requirements. If you receive lots of sunlight, they’ll do the job and potentially save you lots on your electricity bill.