Solar Energy: Beyond the Visible Spectrum
If you’re considering going solar, then you’re probably well aware of the more visible advantages that solar power offers. But there are some additional perks that may surprise you. Let’s discuss some often-overlooked pros of solar energy.
Solar Energy Can Save Us Billions
You know that going solar is good for the environment; you also know that it can save you money. But have you ever considered the financial cost of climate change, if left unchecked? According to a 2015 report released by the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency, the droughts and water shortages brought on by climate change could cause up to $180 billion dollars in economic losses by the end of this century.
And that estimate doesn’t even take into account the economic losses incurred by losing some of our premiere cities to rising sea levels. Your solar panels can save you plenty of money, but the overall economic potential of solar energy as a whole goes way beyond your monthly electric bill.
Solar Fights Energy Monopolies
Monopolies have long been a facet of the global energy market. These monopolies have developed because, until very recently, the cost to build the infrastructure necessary to provide energy to consumers was staggeringly high. Only extremely well-funded interests could afford to break into the market, but once they did, their ongoing costs were relatively low.
The problem with monopolies is that they stifle innovation and limit competition. And if it weren’t for public utilities commissions, they could basically charge consumers as much as they’d like.
Solar energy democratizes energy production like nothing else. Unlike wind and hydroelectric power, solar is a highly scale-able solution that can be implemented just about anywhere. And with solar battery technology rapidly improving, it won’t be long before the average homeowner can cut ties with utilities altogether, if they choose to do so.
Solar Is Reliable and Limitless
You can’t always predict the weather, but you can rely on the fact that the sun will rise and set every day, just as it has for billions of years. Fossil fuels will one day be exhausted. Nuclear power plants can fail, with disastrous environmental consequences. As long as Earth orbits the sun, solar technology will have the capacity to provide us with affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible electricity.
Solar Promotes Energy Independence
The sun isn’t for sale, and it can’t be controlled by corporations or governments. When we go solar, we’re helping to ensure our nation’s sovereignty and independence by eliminating our dependence on imported energy sources. That’s good for national security, the economy, and our sense of national pride. Going solar: it’s the patriotic thing to do.
Solar Energy Creates Jobs
The economy seems to be recovering, but it’s been a long, uphill battle. You’ll be pleased to know that solar energy is an engine for economic growth. And the more we invest in solar, the more jobs it creates. What’s more, per investment dollar, it does so at a much higher rate than coal or natural gas.
It’s estimated that for every $1 million invested in solar, 16 jobs are created. Invest the same amount in natural gas, and you’ll create a mere five jobs. Coal? Seven jobs. Why not put our investment dollars where they’ll do the most good?
If Solar Seems Cheap Now, Consider the Future
At this point, solar energy has reached cost parity with traditional energy sources in most places, and in many markets, it offers truly impressive long-term savings. So to any thrifty consumer, solar already looks like a great deal.
But consider this: the cost of energy sources such as coal and natural gas isn’t fixed. In fact, it’s projected to keep rising, just as it has for many years. The more expensive fossil fuels become, the more you’ll save by going solar.
Solar: the Smart Choice
These are just a few of the hidden benefits of going solar. There are simply too many to list here. We’d encourage you to do your own research on solar energy. We’re confident that you’ll find that it’s the smart choice.
Oh, and if you need help getting your solar panels installed, we’d be happy to put you in touch with one of our handpicked local solar installers.
[Photo via: Flickr]