Solar power is continually gaining momentum as a possible energy source for both homes and businesses. It’s getting easier for people to start using solar power in their daily lives thanks to innovations and developments such as the Tesla Solar Roof. Technology isn’t the only thing driving all this though. A combination of community and grassroots efforts alongside public opinion and government regulations are all having an impact on how the solar industry operates. Keep reading to learn 6 stimulating facts regarding current solar energy you might now already know, as well as what ways the industry might head in the future.
1) The Planet Is Warming Up To Solar More Than All Other Sources
The International Renewable Energy Agency reports that solar power is growing faster than any other energy source. Going back to 2008, the world’s solar photovoltaic energy net installation capacity grew by more than 93,000 megawatts. The United States Energy Information Administration has calculated that domestic homes used up an average of 10,766 kilowatt-hours just in 2016 alone. That means the planet added solar energy capacity enough to power more than 8,638 homes for a whole year. China is the leader in all of this. In 2015 alone, the nation of China produced approximately 39,737 gigawatt-hours of actual solar electricity.
Use a simple calculator to figure out how much solar power you’d need to power up your home.
2) Solar Power Is Not New
Scientists actually started doing experiments involving photovoltaic energy back in the 1800s. The very first solar power generator was actually on display at the Universal Exhibition in 1878 in Paris. Augustin Mouchot, the inventor, was dazzling crowds with an ice maker he made that was solar powered. Even though his discoveries garnered a lot of good attention from crowds and lawmakers, his wonders were shoved aside in favor of cheap, plentiful coal. Even with the challenges that competing industries provided, this technology continued its evolution. More than a century later, the White House saw its first solar panels installed.
3) Going Solar Doesn’t Need To Mean Going Solo
Tax incentives and credits to help new solar installations prove attractive choices, but even despite this, many aspiring users find the systems too cost-prohibitive. Community solar projects sometimes make headway in helping those around enjoy more access though, in the face of steep upfront costs. Solar communities are also known as solar gardens, which are solar power plants which a collective group maintains and uses. Homeowners that can’t handle the price of a private installation or just live on a property that can’t support its own independent system are able to buy shares into solar communities. In exchange for their periodical fees, homeowners can get a share of the power that is produced. That can be either monthly utility bill credits or just power that’s channeled straight into their residence. On top of encouraging cleaner sources of energy, many solar community projects are helping areas with little to no conventional utility access to enjoy reliable power.
Does the idea of a solar community intrigue you? Find active projects in your area or learn more about starting your own.
4) Solar Energy Costs Are Going Down Fast
The international investment firm of Deutsche Bank reported that 2017 was the year in which solar photovoltaic energy wound up becoming the best energy source in terms of cost-efficiency for 80 percent of the planet. Innovations in technology made it possible for high-caliber batteries, panels, and inverters to come in at lower price points, driving the price of new installations down.
With incentives such as Solar Renewable Energy Certificates and the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit joining local government cash rebates, solar installations are being promoted enough that a growing number of private citizens across America can finally afford them. Do you want to know if you’re in a financial position to enjoy a residential solar system? Find a fast quote from a community solar company.
5) Solar Power Provides More Jobs Than Any Source Of Energy
The United States Energy and Employment Report of January 2017 unveiled some shocking data regarding solar industry employment. Solar electricity generating plants were employing nearly half of all the workforce involved in electric power generation. Fossil fuel generating plants had roughly half that number. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that consumer demand is going to keep driving the solar industry to new levels of growth. That includes researchers, engineers, scientists, manufacturers, construction teams, and installation firms.
6) Solar Isn’t Purely For Residential And Commercial Purposes
Solar power is a reliable and safe source of power, but it’s also a flexible power source that has a lot of practical uses. NASA powers the International Space Station with solar power. FEMA is just one of many emergency response establishments that relies on solar power after storms, earthquakes, and many other disasters. Hospitals use them to maintain crucial life-support systems operational when a primary power source isn’t available. A lot of communities are putting up solar-powered traffic lights, safety signals, and street lamps to minimize demands on their budgets.
Solar Power Is The Future For Energy Consumption
The Union of Concerned Scientists has done an estimate showing that nearly half a million American homes were using solar power in 2014. If the current growth rate keeps up, almost 4 million homes are going to sport photovoltaic power systems in 2020. Another driving factor in the growth of solar is that consumers living in isolated areas might be hard for conventional utility providers to reach. As many around the world find more applications and uses for this clean, safe, and abundant power source, the costs which are associated with installing solar energy are going to keep coming down. Solar holds the promise of being the answer to the world’s need for abundant power.