Solar power is one of the best ways to make a business or home “greener.” It has several benefits that attract large businesses and private citizens. Decades ago, it was only available to the wealthiest individuals. Now its price has decreased, and the technology has improved. The average home or business can most likely afford solar power.
But those are not the only reasons solar power has experienced a boom. USA Clean Energy Association dives deeper into six of the advantages offered by solar technology and why it is worth considering.
One of the biggest reasons solar energy has become more popular is that it is cheaper than other
power sources. Until recently, solar panels could only be bought by NASA and particularly wealthy individuals. Today, any household can get solar panels – and often it’s less expensive than their current electricity bill!
The price of solar power has been decreasing since the 70s. Dr. Elliot Berman made the first big breakthrough in 1973. The cost decreased from $100 a watt to $20 a watt. Since then, solar cells have been used to power navigation lights, railroad crossings, lighthouses, and more.
Along with the decrease in cost, solar power has gotten more efficient over time. Interestingly, corporate greed encouraged companies to develop more efficient solar cells. It was in their best interests to keep production costs low while having high energy output.
“Doomers” aside, everyone is aware of the impact humans have on the environment. Fossil fuels such as oil and gasoline release vapors such as CO2 into the air. CO2 and methane damage the ozone layer, letting in harmful ultraviolet light.
Fossil fuel is also a common source of international conflict. Switching to solar power not only benefits the Earth but also saves human lives.
Some people who invest in solar panels fantasize about being “off the grid” – that is, completely unbeholden to their region’s utility companies. Such companies frequently have monopolies and do not have their customers’ best interests at heart. If a homeowner gets solar panels, they can reduce their need for such services.
This disconnect also makes solar panels ideal for rural residences. And even if a home or business does not move entirely off the grid, getting solar panels can fuel a backup battery.
A Wise Investment
Similar to the desire for autonomy, people who wish to save money are now looking to cut their energy bills via solar panels. Even though the investment may take a while to pay for themselves, they will in the long run. Solar panels can also increase the value of a property, making them excellent investments!
Finally, solar panels are the easiest source of alternative power to maintain. Windmills, hydroelectricity, and other methods of alternative power all have moving parts or other risks. Solar panels only require cleaning and removal of tree branches to keep them working. Even dirty solar panels can make electricity.
Solar energy has so many advantages that its increased popularity feels like it was inevitable. It has been getting cheaper and more efficient over time. Solar panels are currently enjoying their time in the sun. Things are likely to get better from here!