Jessica PirroMay 31, 20195910
The Top Advantages of Going Solar
While you’ve probably heard a lot about going solar and why everyone should be jumping on board, you might still be hesitant about doing so yourself. Many people don’t realize just how many benefits there are. You might have heard about the environmental benefits, but haven’t heard much else. Or maybe you’ve heard about the amazing cost benefits, but you aren’t really sure if you actually believe that to be true. Let’s look at some of the top benefits of going solar to figure out if there really are as many advantages as there appears to be, and then you can be more informed when deciding if the switch to solar is the right choice for you.
Economic Benefits of Going Solar
Renewable energy is becoming more and more popular throughout the United States. As the popularity increases it is worth looking to the economic benefits that come along with increased levels of solar, wind and other renewable energy resources.
Solar panels provide lower costs electricity, generating reliable jobs that are local and avoids costs that are associated with emissions that are caused from burning fossil fuels, renewable energy is economic gain.
Stable, low-cost electricity
What may be considered the biggest economic benefit renewable energy and their technologies is their costs of the electricity that is generated. Once the renewable energy sources are built (solar farms, wind turbines and other renewable energy sources), the energy that they produce is low cost. There is a significant difference between the energy that is produced from a renewable energy sources and the power that is generated from fossil-fire power plants.
In order for a natural gas or a coal power plant to work, the utility companies need to buy the natural gas and coal that will ultimately be burned by the power plants. The costs of fuel varies from season-to-season, year-to-year and region-to-region. All of this is a major component of all of the costs that are associated with the current electricity system in the United States.
The swings in the costs can have a very large impact on the economic success of a certain kind of electric resource. As a result of the shale gas boom, the costs of natural gas has been very low for a long period.
The low costs have made electricity that is derived from natural gas plants is a lot less expensive than the electricity which is generated from goal that is leading the an early retirement of coal power plants through the United States from the last five to ten years. The volatile prices of fuel commodities can lead to high and unexpected electricity prices that are.
This has made electricity from natural gas plants, less expensive than electricity generated from coal, leading to the early retirement of many coal power plants throughout the United States over the last five-to-ten years. Pegging volatile prices of fuel commodities can lead to very high, unexpected electricity costs that are ultimately created by the consumer. The renewable energy resources, however don’t burn any fuel and furthermore do not need any fuel costs to run. As a result, besides the capital expenses of a solar installation or building a wind turbine, the only costs that are associated with renewable energy resources are very little and they are only operations and maintenance costs.
Because of the lower costs it allows for renewable energy, like wind and solar, to provide a predictable, low cost electricity source, which can help you reduce any future unpredictable increases in electricity costs for consumers.
The average household, depending on location, can drastically increase its energy savings from $20,000 to over $60,000 in two decades of utilizing solar energy. Solar is not just for individual households, but commercial entities are also seeing the financial benefit of switching to solar. For example, Walmart, the biggest retailer in the world, is now the largest commercial solar power in the United States.
Increase in local jobs
The investment in renewable energy resources leads to jobs, a large amount of them at that. On a per-megawatt basis, by installing a renewable energy resource it results in more jobs than the installation of a more traditional source of energy production.
These jobs aren’t just short term jobs, in fact, the annual residential solar installations have remained stable over the past few years an the utility scale installations have maintained their increase. Which means that solar jobs are more than likely to continue to be steady in the foreseeable future.
A solar job census that was released from the The Solar Foundation released a Solar Jobs Census where they found that the solar industry employs close to a quarter of a million workers across the United States. Between 2010 and 2018 in the United States, solar jobs have increased by 159%.
The results of this census was proof that solar energy is one of the fastest growing job industries in the United States right now. More importantly, these solar jobs are being distributed throughout the country, in opposition to coal and natural gas whose jobs are focused on an area with these deposits.
The solar jobs are local, specifically the jobs that are in residential solar and require knowledge and access to local communities nationwide. There is also another way to estimate the renewable jobs that are associated with a given policy announcement or clean energy investment is to use the JEDI model. The JEDI is the Job and Economic Development Impact and it is offered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as free job impact models that specifically analyze renewable energy jobs.
For as big as an industry coal power used to be, now-a-days there are less than 50,000 coal jobs that are nationwide. Which means that the coal industry has less employee’s than certain fast food chains.
These fossil fuel jobs are only in existence in certain geographical areas that have an abundance of resources. The jobs in the renewable energy industry are local and exist where the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.
The environmental benefits of solar energy
Environmental benefits are some of the few benefits to going solar. Not only are you going to help the economy by switching over to solar, but you are also helping the environment.
Renewable energy reduces the externality that comes from carbon
The main reason why solar energy was created was not to cut our energy bills but to reduce global carbon emissions. Solar power’s low carbon footprint, low emissions, and long-term sustainability make for healthier people, waterways, soil, animals and more. It’s a benefit that’s clearly invaluable, but it makes good financial sense, too.
A major economic benefit that comes from renewable energy comes in the form of avoiding future costs.
Emissions that are derived from the fossil -fired power plants are made up primarily of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides and particulate matter, they are very costly to society as a while. The emissions are linked to a plethora of health issues and have even been linked to premature death. They are causing massive and perhaps irreversible changes to the climate.
Opposite to that of fossil fuel, renewable energy produces electricity without any emissions. The electricity that is being generated by the sun or the wind, doesn’t burn any fuel, therefore completely avoiding all emissions.
When accounting for the whole lifetime impact of the manufacturing and shipping process, as well as the installation and decommissioning, the electricity which is generated by solar panels is still resulting in a reduced amount of emissions.
There is no price that is placed on emissions from carbon at a national level. There are certain ways to calculate how much these externalities that are associated with burning fossil fuels.
Solar is a “free,” renewable, and constant source of energy
One of the advantages of solar panels is that beyond installation and maintenance, the energy they generate is completely free, as you don’t have to pay to use the sun. As long as the sun continues to shine, we’ll always have it as a source of energy. Your house or office building can be completely supplied by solar, making it self-sustaining. There is no obligation to pay electricity distributors, and you can go totally off-grid if you want. It’s also totally renewable, unlike fossil fuels, which need to be dug up and manufactured and are a limited resource.
Aside from the manufacturing of solar panels, they don’t have
any other pollution
From the expenditure side, the energy generated by a solar panel does not result in the emission of greenhouse gasses. The manufacturing of a solar panel system will generate some pollution, but the amount it will generate is far less than what will be created from fossil fuel production, and as soon as it’s done being produced, the panels will never create any more pollution. With the switch to 100% renewable energy, we could begin to reverse the horrifying effects of greenhouse gasses and slow down climate change to a crawl, which is a more pressing matter now than ever before.
Solar prices continue to decline, making them cost-effective
While many people still see solar energy as fairly expensive, the prices continue to drop, and they are now more cost-effective than ever before. Not only are the prices of the panels decreasing, but solar energy is cheaper than traditional energy in general, making it even more cost-effective. With solar becoming more and more mainstream, solar energy is becoming cheaper to accommodate all kinds of lifestyles and make it even more readily available. Moreover, because solar energy is free and unlimited, solar power is immune to the ever-fluctuating prices of traditional energy, which are currently suffering from the fossil fuel industry losing its resource at an alarming rate.
Solar energy helps create self-reliant communities
Related to advantages such as self-sustenance and cost-effectiveness, the widespread deployment of solar panels can benefit self-reliant communities that are not dependent on electricity distributors, energy generators, and the entire energy markets. Decentralization due to self-reliance drives down the prices of electricity. Note that generating electricity from fossil fuels and nuclear energy have myriad of costs associated with transportation and distribution. Also, because solar panels can operate off the grid, it has significant benefits for people living in rural areas or confined communities.
Solar panels are becoming increasingly more efficient
Some of the important criticisms of solar panels include production costs and inefficiency. However, ongoing developments in technology, including production procedures, improvements in the factors of production, and the discovery of unique solar cell materials, could supersede these conditions in the future. Investments in research and development due to the communicated interest of energy companies and governments to build alternative energy capacities are forcing the progress further.
Fossil fuels will not dominate for much longer
For decades we’ve been using coal as our main source of electricity. Many viewed the solar industry as a “pie in the sky” response to the alarming rise in greenhouse gases. Through education and technological gains, the public is gradually learning about the efficacy of renewable energy sources.
Fossil fuels are the main reason for climate change, and renewable energies are the main thing fighting back against them. By going solar, you’re helping to stop the massive use of fossil fuels, which will inevitably run out, anyway. Fossil fuels, unlike solar energy, will run out around fifty years from now. By switching to solar, you’ll never have to worry about the knowledge that your energy is limited because solar energy is renewable.
In the last few years, solar panels have dropped in price a whopping 80% and quickly became a viable source of energy for the masses. It became widely used as solar became cheaper than coal, it became an option for those who want to save money on their utilities, so while solar cuts down harmful emissions, it also became a valuable source of income throughout the world.
The Cost Benefits of Going Solar
You may have heard that going solar has enormous cost benefits, but are left wondering how, and what exactly they are. You may be excited to know that yes, it’s true that the cost benefits are enormous, and that in this article, we’ll be outlining exactly how and exactly what these benefits are. Also keep in mind that you’re not the only one benefiting - the environment is, too.
Lower Your Utility Bills
The number one benefit of going solar is that your utility bills will get lower. Most people find themselves upset when they see their utility bills each month, but with solar energy, you may finally get out of that rut. While the initial cost of installation is a hefty sum, the overall savings are in the thousands. If you go off-grid, you won’t be paying for your energy every again. If you’re on-grid, while you might still need to pay for your energy if you aren’t producing enough and need to buy it from your power company, the cost will still be far less than it would be on traditional energy, and you’ll never have to worry about the constantly increasing cost again.
Get Net Metering From Your Power Company
If you do choose to go on-grid, and you end up producing more energy than you actually need, you can get credited by your utility company. This means that you’ll have a lower electric bill because you’ll receive money in the form of credits from the power company.
Tax Credits and Rebates
This is one benefit that you’ll need to jump on right now to get all of its advantages. The federal tax credit in the United States is currently at 30%, but only for the rest of the year. And by 2022, it’s scheduled to be completely gone. So if you want to take full advantage of this tax credit, you’ll need to install solar in the next few months. On top of that, if you generate excess power, you’ll be able to sell it back to your power company to make some money.
Increase the Value of Your Home
The second you install solar, the value of your home instantly goes up. If you want to invest in solar but think it’s a bad idea because you don’t want to live in your home five years from now, the solar will easily pay for itself when you sell your home. As much as a $20,000 increase in your home’s value can be taken advantage of just by installing solar.
Sunlight Doesn’t Cost Anything
While your power company will be sending you a bill no matter what, the sun won’t. On top of that, the sun is also an unlimited resource, so you don’t have to worry about it disappearing, and you also don’t have to worry about the prices for your solar power skyrocketing. You’ll have two decades of assured energy
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