Initially, solar power was a very expensive experiment in powering homes. The equipment that was required was expensive to manufacture and therefore expensive to buy. Cost alone threatened to make it an infeasible option for most people but this has changed over the last few years.
Today, the government has created subsidies and tax breaks for those looking to power their homes with clean sources of energy. By creating incentives and subsidizing companies, the cost to manufacture the equipment has dropped drastically and created a demand for more products. This, in turn, has created a competitive market that has driven down costs even further.
Once a person makes the initial investment for the materials to power their home with solar energy, they begin seeing savings immediately. There are the savings that they will see on their utility bills, the savings that come from being insulated from future utility increases and the very real increase in the value of their home. A $4,000.00 solar water heater will pay for itself in 80 months, by saving an average of $50.00 per month in electricity bills.
While the wind and hydro energy can match the benefits of solar power to the environment, they cannot match its availability. The solar energy is available anywhere the sun shines while wind power is only available in areas that produce enough wind to routinely turn the wind-powered turbines. Likewise, hydro energy is only available in areas that can produce waves of significant force to generate the power. Another problem with hydro is that it is a limited resource. There are only so many locations that hydro power can be tapped into and most of that has already been done.
Unlike the other two types of alternative power mentioned, solar energy does not need electric lines running across the country in order to deliver it. The energy is captured where it is used and this also makes solar energy more environmentally friendly and more practical.