Editorial

Solar Power

The Development Finance Corporation has begun to encourage people in Belize to explore the use of solar power as the renewable energy of the future.
Sunlight is free, and Belize has lots of it.

Solar power is effective, not only for illumination at night. The sun’s energy can be harvested and saved in storage batteries, and used to heat water and to provide electricity for home and office use.
Solar power generates no pollution. It is quiet and steady and leaves no carbon footprint.

But it’s not perfect!
The more solar power you use, the more batteries you will be needing to store the electricity. Since the sun does not shine at night, solar power has to be stored somewhere after it has been collected.

It probably will not be cost-effective for every application. But if you have a building that is exposed to a lot of sunshine, it is entirely possible for you to have dependable electricity for light and warm water and save money over time with a spread of solar panels and a small bank of three or four storage batteries.
In 2015 the first solar aircraft made a successful crossing of the Atlantic and all the major automobile manufacturers in America, Europe, and Japan have begun to produce electric cars, some of them hybrids, which can burn gasoline if the battery power runs low.

Solar panels have a lifespan ranging from 25 to 40 or more years, depending on the care they receive. They must be kept clean and free of grit and dust. Apart from that, there is zero maintenance, except for storage batteries which must be replaced from time to time.

Belizeans should not invest in solar power without taking into account the possible effects of tropical storms and hurricanes.
Solar panels are strong enough to resist light hail and strong winds if they are securely fastened to the roof.

The DFC needs to do more work by giving out information about its loans policy, telling clients how much they are prepared to lend and how much time and at what interest rate the borrower is expected to pay back the loan.

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