Why can't all my energy needs be met with rooftop solar panels?

The technology does not provide all of the characteristics necessary for a consistent electricity supply.  Primary limitations on complete residential solar supply include the ability to provide energy at all times; output can fall rapidly during cloudy weather and no electricity is provided during evening hours.


Employing a combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy such as solar can minimize the environmental impact of electricity use while maintaining reliability.  


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1. How does it work?
2. Do I stay connected to the electricity grid?
3. Is my housesuitable for solar panels?
4. How may solar panels would I need to run my house?
5. Why can't all my energy needs be met with rooftop solar panels?
6. How much can I save with solar panels?
7. What are the advantages of solar energy?
8. Other options?