For both businesses and homes, solar energy continues to gain prominence as a source of energy. Incorporating solar energy into our everyday lives is much easier with innovations such as the Tesla Solar Roof. The inner-workings of the solar industry are also changing quickly in the face of public opinion, government regulations and community efforts in addition to these technological advancements. Read on to learn six interesting facts about solar energy in 2018, as well as the expected trend of the industry heading forward.
1. The Rapid Adoption Of Solar Energy Across The World Is Unrivalled
Solar power is by far the fastest growing source of energy globally, according to the IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency). There has been a 93,000 megawatt increase in the global net installed solar photovoltaic energy since 2008. In 2016, the EIA, Energy Information Administration, estimated that an average of 10,766 kWh is used by American homes. These figures mean that the increase in solar energy capacity can be able to satisfy the annual energy requirements of more than 8,638 homes. Ahead of the pack is China. About 39,737 Gigawatt-hours of solar power was produced in the country in the year 2015.
Use this simple calculator to find out the amount of solar power it would take to power your home.
2. There’s Nothing New About Solar Power
Back in the 19 century, scientists started experimenting with photovoltaic energy. The Universal Exhibition in Paris hosted the first solar power generator display back in 1878. The attending crowds were impressed by a solar powered ice-maker invented by Augustin Mouchot. However, his invention was, in a way ignored, due to the availability of more affordable, and enormous, coal reserves; even though the invention was highly rated and appreciated by both the public and lawmakers. The technology did continuously evolve however, even in the face of competition from other related industries. The first wave of solar panels was installed at the White House in 1979, close to a century later.
3. Joint Solar Power Ventures
The exorbitant initial cost associated with solar energy systems acts as a major roadblock to many interested consumers, even with the attractive incentives and tax credits on offer. This power source is however, being made easily accessible to everyone through community solar projects. Solar power plant installations created for, and maintained by, a group of users are referred to as solar gardens or communities.
Potential solar power users who find the initial purchase and installation costs to be prohibitive can simply acquire a stake in such solar power communities. The members receive a share of the solar power produced in exchange for period/membership fees. The power they receive can be directly supplied to their homes or calculated as credits in their monthly power bill. Solar communities are bringing electricity to areas with limited or no access to conventional sources, in addition to promoting the production of clean energy.
If a solar community project sounds like the best fit for you, find one in your locations or learn how you can get one started near you.
4. Solar Energy Costs Are Decreasing
Solar energy became the most cost efficient source of energy for around 80 percent of the world in 2017, according to Deutsche Bank, an international investment firm. Installation costs will continue on a downward trend as the production of high quality batteries, inverters and panels is made possible by technological advancements.
Solar installation costs are now more affordable to a growing number of American citizens as a result of incentives provided by SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates), Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit and local government cash rebates aimed at promoting the adoption of solar power. Are you interested in knowing whether you are prepared for a domestic solar power installation? Contact one of the local solar companies for a quick quote.
5. More Americans Are Employed In Solar Power Than In Any Other Competing Source Of Power
Some surprising solar industry facts were uncovered by the US Energy and Employment Report published in January 2017. Of the total workforce employed in electric power generation, 43 percent was employed in solar electric generation plants. Only 22 percent of the total workforce is employed in fossil fuel power generation plants. Further increases in the solar power industry, driven by consumer demand, are expected as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
6. Solar Power Has Many Applications
Solar power has many varied applications due to its flexible, reliable and safe nature. It is used to power the International Space Station by NASA. Solar power is used after the occurrence of natural disasters such as storms and earthquakes, by emergency response agencies including FEMA. When the main power is unavailable, hospitals use solar power systems to maintain life support systems.
Solar Power Is Charting The Way Forward
In 2014 more than 480,000 homes in the US consumed solar power, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Come the year 2020, close to 3.8 million homes will be equipped with solar power systems if this current rate of growth is maintained. Energy consumers located in remote areas where conventional power systems are hard to access are also driving this growth. Costs associated with this safe, clean and unlimited source of power will continue on a downward trend as more feasible applications are discovered all across the world. Solar power has the potential to satisfy the world’s collective need for an unlimited source of power.