If you haven’t invested in solar power for your home, business, or both, then you’ve got some catching up to do.
So many have gotten on the solar power train now because of the countless benefits, from lower energy bills to its diverse set of applications. Any folks that haven’t bestowed themselves with the power of light yet are mostly unaware of what solar can do.
In this post, we’re going to look at 7 interesting facts about solar energy that are sure to surprise, delight, and excite you. If you’ve been thinking about going solar for a while, but just needed that extra little boost, then you’ will find it in this article. Let there be light!
1. It’s the Most Abundant Energy Source
The sun is constantly giving us more energy than we could possibly need to survive on earth. Every hour that the sunbeams light upon us, if we retained it all, we could provide all of humanity with all of the energy that it needs for a year.
We wouldn’t need coal, oil, or natural gas if we could harness this amount of energy. It would require a lot of solar panels, but we could essentially leave the earth untouched moving forward if we adopted this strategy.
So, why haven’t we been able to do it?
There’s a lot of money in those coal and oil industries that they don’t want to see it shift to the solar power sector. The issue has become extremely politicized, but the obvious answer to a lot of these existential issues that humanity faces, at least partially, resides in solar.
2. 2 Million Solar Systems In the US
There are currently 2 million solar systems in the US, which we should continue to see rise significantly. 2 million might not seem like enough, considering what we just talked about in the previous point, but we were only at 1 million just three years ago.
Yes, in 3 years we’ve doubled the number of solar systems in this country. More and more families and businesses are seeing the need to embrace solar through either their own experience or by looking at what’s going on around the world.
It’s reasonable to expect this number to continue to multiply as the years move on and as the public becomes more knowledgable of the issues facing us.
3. Cost Has Gone Down 99% in 40 Years
One of the big reasons why more and more people are getting solar systems installed in their homes and businesses is because the price has gone down so significantly. To be more exact, it’s gone down 99% since 1977 to go solar.
In ’77, it cost $77 per watt to install a single solar cell. By Q3 of 2017, that number had gone all the way down to $0.21 for a single solar cell. The affordability of solar is something that big oil and coal don’t want the public to know about, but eventually, this simple fact will win people’s allegiance.
4. China Is Winning the Solar Race
Right now, China is the most solar-powered country on the planet. In America, certain states are more solar than others (in particular, California is number 1, getting 14% of their energy from solar power), but China’s 50 GW of solar power systems are more than twice that of America.
To make some sense of that number, 50 GW of solar power systems would power 8.2 million of 128 million homes in the US.
5. 3-Year Break-Even Point
Solar energy is cheaper than any fossil fuel, costing only 4 cents per kWh. Natural gas, the cheapest fossil fuel, costs anywhere between 4 and 8 cents per kWh.
This cheap cost results in a reported 3 to 7-year break-even point for people with solar systems installed; meaning, the cost of the system and installation is paid for in 3-7 years of using solar power.
After those 7 years have passed, a US resident with a solar power system can expect to be saving a significant amount of money, compared to the cost of natural gas. If you live in a state with higher than average utility prices, the switch to solar will pay off for you very quickly.
6. Portable Solar Systems
Even with the break-even point, a lot of people are reluctant to spend the $20,000 to get a large solar power system installed in their home. The upfront cost does raise a lot of eyebrows but if you don’t have that kind of money to spare, there are still options for you.
A website like PoweredPortableSolar.com has a huge selection of portable solar power units in a variety of sizes. You can still take a huge chunk out of your energy bill and lower your carbon footprint with a portable solar panel.
They’re also great to take on camping trips and even better in disaster situations when the power in your house has gone out. It’s a good first foray into solar power, while you save up for your larger system.
7. Community Solar
Going solar doesn’t always mean that you have to invest in your own solar power system. These days, a lot of communities are going solar on a grand scale, using “solar farms” to power hundreds of households. Even utility providers in certain states are giving the option of using solar power for a small monthly fee.
This concept of community solar is growing at a steady rate around the US and it’s already popular in California, Colorado, and Minnesota.
Interesting Facts About Solar Energy Are As Abundant As the Energy Is
There are too many interesting facts about solar energy to list in one article, but there’s one fact that rings true above all else; solar power is coming sooner than later. The benefits are too obvious to ignore and with the cost of installation and maintenance getting lower and lower, it’ll be the most affordable option as well.
So, why wait? Start pricing out your solar power system as soon as possible and start saving yourself money and saving the planet’s resources.