Solar has many benefits over other electricity options. It is a more sustainable energy source, it is cheaper than fossil fuels, and it creates jobs. These are just some of the reasons why solar energy will be the future of our country’s electric power.
1. Solar Energy Is Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels
Not only will solar energy help us reduce our carbon emissions, it’s also the cheapest electricity option available, even when compared to other green electricity sources like wind or hydropower. That means that in some places, it can cost less for you to install a photovoltaic system on your roof than it does for you to purchase power from your utility company – even if you never have to pay another electric bill again.
The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative is challenging the nation to produce affordable solar energy by 2020 so that Americans can save money by using clean, sustainable resources rather than dirty fossil fuels. For example, in Arizona, customers are saving big money by installing rooftop solar at their homes and businesses. The average home solar system in the state will pay for itself in less than seven years. And when they sell back their excess power to the grid, customers get a check every month for selling clean energy to utilities!
2. Solar Creates Jobs
The rapid growth of this industry is creating thousands of domestic jobs while putting more money in people’s pockets. The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census found that employment in the U.S. solar industry grew at an incredible rate of 20% from 2013-2014, hiring nearly 50,000 workers across all 50 states. That’s one out of every 78 new jobs created last year! What’s more, these are good-paying blue-collar jobs that don’t require a college degree – the median wage for solar installers nationwide is $23 per hour, according to the Solar Jobs Census.
But that’s not the only reason that clean, renewable solar energy creates good jobs here at home. It’s also because our government recognizes that helping to grow this industry will help keep America strong. The federal investment tax credit has created more than 120,000 American jobs across all 50 states. And once people learn about how affordable and beneficial solar power is, it’s no wonder so many are excited to go solar!
3. Solar Reduces Carbon Emissions
When you choose a clean energy source like solar, you’re doing your part in reducing harmful emissions into the air. Since sunlight is absorbed by plants during photosynthesis to produce sugar and oxygen, solar is a natural way to generate electricity. And solar power avoids the carbon pollution and environmental destruction caused by fossil fuels like coal. It’s estimated that if we continue to increase our reliance on clean energy sources like wind and solar, we could reduce annual CO2 emissions in the U.S. by 26 billion metric tons – the equivalent of removing 44 million cars from American highways!
4. Solar Is Renewable
Solar energy will never run out – after all, the sun doesn’t stop shining! This makes it a much more sustainable source of electricity than other types of fuel that are limited because they take millions of years to form naturally (like oil and coal) or because extracting natural gas.
5. Solar Will Help Us Achieve Energy Independence
As a renewable resource, solar energy can reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources. It also requires less land to produce the same amount of energy as other conventional forms of power, since no fuel is being burned in order to generate electricity from sunlight! That means that more usable land can be turned into farmland or parks rather than used for coal mines or drilling rigs that put our natural resources at risk. In addition, solar reduces conflict over the use of limited natural resources, creating a safer, healthier world for everyone!
6. The U.S. Government Wants You To Go Solar!
In 2013, President Obama launched his SunShot Initiative with the goal of making solar energy cost-competitive (without subsidies) with traditional forms of electricity by 2020. That means that, by increasing research and development and supporting public-private partnerships to develop innovative technologies, we could see a 50% reduction in solar costs within Obama’s presidency! What’s more, because it’s predicted that we’ll reach this goal years ahead of schedule, private companies will soon be offering even greater rebates on rooftop systems.
7. Solar Reduces Pollution.
In addition to Solar’s environmental benefits, it also creates a healthier living environment for the people who live and work in proximity to solar power facilities. After all, solar panels only produce energy when exposed to sunlight. And because solar is a much cleaner alternative than fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, we can feel better about the ways we power our country!
8. You Can Save Lots of Money with Solar
As solar technology becomes more advanced and widespread, costs related to solar installation have been dropping fast. In fact, as of 2014, installing solar panels on your rooftop now typically costs around $4 per watt —less than half as much as it did seven years ago! This makes solar one of the most affordable electricity options available today. According solar energy is the most affordable option for American homeowners looking to switch to solar! And solar could save you up to $40,000 in utility bills over the course of thirty years.
9. Solar’s Getting Even Cheaper
The cost of solar has fallen significantly in recent years, and it continues to drop as solar technology becomes more accessible and reliable. This means that solar will become even more competitive with traditional sources of electricity in the near future. And because solar creates jobs at every step of the process – including manufacturing, installation, operation, and maintenance – it’s great for local job markets across America!