Everyone across the planet has one thing in common: access to the sun. Solar energy has the potential to be the great equalizer, bringing power to everyone who needs it and solving many environmental issues along the way. Sure, it’s an investment upfront, but the benefits are outstanding. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the potential of solar energy.
The sun has the capability of providing more energy than the next top ten sources combined.The runners up include things like coal, Uranium, petroleum, natural gas, wind, and water. In fact, solar energy produces more in a year than the world’s entire coal supply. Tapping into the sun can help humanity avoid an energy crisis and stop us from using up resources that can’t be replaced.
Solar energy avoids many of the dangers of coal power. Did you know that the waste produced by coal power isn’t always safe? For example, 1 out of every 10 women is exposed to so much mercury from coal energy that they are unable to bear children. And more than 6 million children currently live within 5 miles of these coal plants, which produce enough waste to fill up 1 million train cars in just a year. The sun, on the other hand, provides kids with a much-needed vitamin D source and creates no toxic waste when used to power homes and businesses.
Solar energy costs don’t rise like other sources. Let’s face it: power in the United States is getting expensive. From 1995-2009, prices went up 27%! And they will only continue to rise, partially because of resource shortages, and partially just because of the huge demand. If we want to continue to meet this demand with mostly coal, as we are doing now, we’ll have to build at least 100 new coal plants in the next 15 years.
The sun is the most stable power source available. Many of the large-scale blackouts that happen in the US could be avoided if we were more reliant on solar power. Think about it. The sun is there every day – even on cloudy days, solar panels can generate some electricity. And while solar panels can and do occasionally get damaged in storms, if they are properly maintained, they are must less susceptible than power lines to the whims of nature. And if the sun disappears, we’ll bigger problems than where our power is coming from.
New energy sources create new jobs. Including solar energy. In fact, for every 6 homes that install a solar system, 1 job is created. These jobs stay within the United States since installation cannot be outsourced.
Solar power is the future. More than 30,000 homes are making the switch to solar energy each year, and this number continues to rise. At least a full quarter of Americans over the age of 35 (and therefore more likely to be homeowners) have looked into getting solar energy. The most common deterrent reported is the initial investment, which can be costly. However, these costs continue to go down as technology is improved and the benefits become clear. The sooner you convert to solar energy, the sooner you will start to see a return on your investment.
With all of the facts laid out, it’s clear that solar energy contains the vast possibility of being the perfect energy solution. Less environmental impact, saved money over time, stability, and a positive impact on the American economy are just a few of the perks that come with harnessing the sun. We’re still tapping into all of the promises of solar power.