The Power of Solar Energy – Are You On Board?
The reality that our excessive and continual consumption of fossil fuels is slowly but surely causing devastating effects on planet Earth, is sinking in.
Small pockets of global economies are simultaneously recognizing the potential of natural resources, wind, solar and water, in harnessing energy in a cleaner, more reliable and affordable way.
It’s an obvious truth, that natural resources are limited, however many individuals and societies continue to look at their belly button and lack initiative.
The momentum is growing though, in both global awareness and action, particularly with solar.
The US are Embracing Solar
With an abundance of sun across the United States, there is a massive opportunity to supply a significant amount of the country’s electricity through solar technology. It’s environmentally and economically attractive and US homes and businesses are getting on board.
Statistics from the Union of concerned Scientists shows growth in all the three key areas of solar supply.
Small-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems, which sit on rooftops and are mainly used for residential
purposes, account for the majority of solar installations in the US. In recent years a decline in consumer price, arising from a decrease in technology costs passed onto the customer, has enhanced take up. Between 2010 and 2013 prices dropped by almost 30% and with various tax credits and rebates as well as other government support available, a rooftop PV can be installed for under $10,000. Innovative financing is now also available with lease options and power purchase agreements sealing the deal for many buyers.
Large-scale PV’s also dropped further in price and are now on average 60% lower per watt than residential, making it a highly worthwhile consideration for business owners, who can power their enterprise with green energy whilst, almost certainly, adding to their profits in the long term.
Did You Go Solar Last Year?
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), 645,000 US homes and businesses went solar in 2014, a great effort! They joined those already using solar systems to contribute to the 20,000mw of cumulative solar capacity available in the US. This is enough to power 4million homes.
In fact, 41% of Americans now live within 20 miles of a solar installation.
Anticipated solar growth – get on board!
SEIA calculated a 34% growth from 2013 to 2014 across the solar industry. There are now 6,000 solar supply companies spanning 50 states.
There were almost 200,000 installations in 2014 (SEIA) alone and the aim is to double capacity in two years. 16 states are predicted to top the 100mw mark within 2 years, which would be a significant milestone.
Schools and businesses are also rising up to their corporate and social responsibilities and making steps to change their carbon footprint.
As solar usage grows so does its benefit to the economy as a whole. The Solar Foundation reported 174,000 solar workers in the US, helping keep the employment wheels turning. Installations were valued at $13.7 billion in 2013, up from $11.5 billion in 2012 and $8.6 billion in 2011.
The Institute for energy research suggests that the US consumption of solar energy is 4/10’s of 1%, a small but growing percentage. So, get on board with the growing solar users who are paving the way for a greener future.