Solar energy has grown tremendously over the past decade and according to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar jobs have increased by 160%. Solar energy has provided over 242,000 jobs for U.S. citizens and enough power capacity to provide electricity for up to 12 million U.S. homes.
Despite the progress, there is still significant progress that must be made before solar energy becomes a viable option for most Americans. Even though the U.S. doubled its number of solar photovoltaic installations from one million to two million between 2016 and 2019, technological advances are still needed to improve efficiency, bring down costs, and change the dependence from power grids to solar as the base of U.S. power.
Solar Energy Benefits
There are several pros to using solar energy and here are some of the top benefits of solar energy:
Solar Energy Can Reduce Electrical Costs
When you install solar power in your home, you reduce your reliance on electric companies and decrease your monthly utility costs. Solar panels could last up to three decades and the money you could save in that timespan could be astronomical. Solar costs are decreasing as the technology grows more efficient while utility costs continue to rise due to their reliance on fossil fuels and less efficient forms of energy.
Solar Energy Pros
The following pros of solar energy can help you save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and bring solar-powered electricity and heat to places that were “off the grid” before:
- Local, state, and federal governments are incentivizing the usage of solar power by offering solar renewable energy credits to individuals that sell their excess solar energy back to utility companies. These credits could be used to pay bills and in some states can be traded in for cash.
- Solar energy works in many climates, and since they can be put on rooftops, don’t need excess land in order to be effective. Solar energy works wherever there is daylight.
- Solar energy installed homes are valued higher than those without solar energy and a U.S. Department of Energy study showed that solar homes could be worth up to $15,000
- Solar energy can be harvested and used when sunlight is reduced or in the night time.
Cons of Solar Power
Solar power can be great for the environment and our wallets but it does have the following disadvantages:
- Solar power doesn’t work without the sun and most solar users are still relying on electric utility companies to provide their power at night.
- Solar powers may be an eyesore for some. Even though the designs are becoming more sleek, attractive, and less bulky each year, some individuals may not like the manner in which the panels change the look of their home.
- Solar panels don’t fit every type of roof and people with older homes may have to opt for other options including community panel gardens, or ground-mounted solar panels.
- Up-front solar costs can be intimidating and not everyone has the cash on hand to turn solar dreams into realities. Some states back loan programs and some solar companies offer leasing and purchasing agreements.
Solar panels aren’t for everyone but they could be an investment for those looking to reduce their bills and reduce their reliance on other types of energy. The U.S. is moving towards more clean energy sources and solar is one of the most sustainable and cheaper options thus far.
Article Submitted By Community Writer