The energy provided by solar panels is clean and reliable. The sun is an inexhaustible source, and represents a clear alternative to fossil fuels. The employment of solar panels offers substantial benefits to our environment and our economy.
Benefits of Solar Energy
1. Solar energy means savings.
The cost of solar panels and other forms of solar power have fallen tremendously in the last three decades. Solar energy can be harnessed with different technologies such as photo-voltaic, solar heating and solar thermal electricity providing increased efficiency and lower cost. In addition, solar technologies are highly reliable and require little maintenance after installation.
2. Solar energy panels reduce electricity cost in the long-term.
Each new kilowatt installed brings immediate electricity bill savings for both businesses and householders, increasing building’s value over time. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, conducted in 2011, there has been a significant reduction of 7 per cent per year in the cost per watt of solar panels. This tendency will continue until 2020. From 2015 solar power has become fully competitive with fossil fuels.
3. Solar energy helps stopping global warming and pollution.
Solar energy is a resource that is not only sustainable for energy consumption, it is indefinitely renewable. The sun provides clean and sustainable energy without toxic pollution. Solar panels do not require water to generate electricity. In contrast, fossil fuels impact significantly on water resources.
A study by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory analysed the environmental impacts associated with generating 80 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2050 and found that CO2 emissions from electricity production could be reduced by approximately 81 percent. As a result, solar power is now very clearly one of the most important solutions to the global warming crisis, and it is recognized as the future alternative energy which can replace carbon-intensive energy sources in order to combat the Greenhouse effect.
4. Solar energy creates jobs and helps the local economy.
Solar power and other renewable sources of energy have the potential to create more jobs. In fact, according to a recent Brookings study, the renewable energy industry employs 2.7 million workers. In 2011, the U.S. solar industry employed approximately 100,000 people on a part-time or full-time basis, including jobs in solar installations, manufacturing, and sales. Additionally, solar power offers other economic benefits. For example, local governments can collect property and income taxes from solar energy project owners.
These revenues can help support public services, especially in rural communities where projects are often located. Solar energy projects therefore keep money circulating within the local economy, and in the future solar energy production can reduce the need to spend money on importing coal and natural gas from other places. In addition, local communities can take advantage of solar technologies since solar panels and other forms of solar power can be installed in remote areas like mountains, forests and islands, reaching locations not connected to the grid or without access to electric power. When installed on a large-scale, solar energy is also a more resilient energy system which can be spread out through a distributed system over a vast geographical area.