Are you an energy whiz? Find out with this quiz!
By Megan Phelps
How much do you know about solar energy? Here’s your chance to test your knowledge. Below are 10 questions — all true/false, and all about solar-electric systems. Jot down your choices, then scroll to the bottom of the page to see the answers and add up your score.
True, and award yourself one bonus point if you’ve ever heard of a feed-in-tariff (FIT) — two if you can define it. If you install a grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) system, you’re in the business of selling electricity to your utility company. Both FITs and net-metering policies set rules about how much you get paid for the electricity your solar panels produce.
Learn more: Our friend Dan Lepinski, co-host of MOTHER EARTH NEWS Radio, has written a glossary of renewable energy terms. Find it on the website of the North Texas Renewable Energy Group. It includes technical definitions of both net metering and FITs.
False. More sun equals more solar electricity, so a PV system in sunny Albuquerque would definitely produce more power over the course of a year than an equivalent PV system in rainy Seattle.
Learn more: Calculating Solar Power Potential with PV Watts, from MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
False. Wind power production is currently much bigger than solar power production.
Learn more: Here’s a big table of electricity statistics from the EIA.
False. California is by far the U.S. leader in solar power. However, New Jersey is No. 2.
Learn more: The Best States for Solar Power, from MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
How many did you get right?
10+: You have the (solar-electric) power!
7 to 9: Well done. The sun is shining on you.
4 to 6: Not bad, but keep working on your efficiency.
0 to 3: You're still in the dark. Try again!
Photo by iStockphoto
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