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12 Jul 2023

The Power of the Sun: How Solar is Revolutionizing Domestic and Commercial Energy

Image credit: The United Nations

The solar industry has become a true disrupter in the world of energy over the past decade. What was once a novel addition to a new home build or commercial project is now becoming an imperative in bringing down operational costs, reaping the benefits of incentives, and transitioning to a cleaner future. 

Solar energy growth has seen unprecedented growth over the last six years with no signs of slowing. According to MarketWatch, the U.S. increased its solar capacity from slightly over 40,000 MW in late 2016 to more than 135,000 MW by the end of 2022, tripling capacity and enough to power over 24 million homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). 

The spread of solar is revolutionizing the global energy grid resulting in positive impacts on the environment, worldwide commerce, and everyday households. 

Image credit: World Economic Forum

An Overview of Solar Energy and Its Benefits 

With the increasing development and implementation of solar technology, traditional power sources are slowly becoming obsolete. Homeowners and businesses are investing in solar energy as a means to reduce their carbon footprint, save money, and increase their energy independence. 

The trend is not only beneficial for the environment but for society as a whole. Solar panels are quickly becoming more efficient and affordable and a tenable solution for accessible renewable energy. As a result, the solar industry is evolving to serve states that are incentivizing residents and companies who are trying to achieve net zero goals. The future looks bright for the solar energy industry and the clients transitioning to cleaner energy. 

 

Image credit: Nathan Anderson/Unsplash

How Solar Energy is Making an Impact on the Environment 

As the world faces unprecedented levels of pollution and climate change, it is more important than ever to embrace renewable energy sources. With decades of research to support it, the impact of solar energy on the environment is clear and tangible. 

Solar energy is a shining example of what can be achieved with innovation and a commitment to sustainability. The benefits of solar energy are immense, from reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution to conserving water resources and reducing dependence on fossil fuels. The beauty of solar energy lies in its scalability and accessibility, making it a viable solution for both individuals and large-scale operations.

These are a few of the net positives of solar energy on the planet. 

 1. Global Carbon Neutrality

The Department of Energy’s Solar Futures Study presents various scenarios for solar energy deployment that could help the United States achieve a carbon-free electricity grid by 2035. This is all the more important as global Paris Agreement Goals reach emissions caps by 2030 and will drastically reduce our global carbon footprint. 

2. Renewables Divert from Finite Resource Dependence

Renewable energy sources are all around us, free and untapped of their full potential. Economists believe we are far too dependent on volatile finite resources whose flow is constantly at risk from geopolitical strife, environmental limitations, and inflated values. According to the United Nations Climate Action Council, “Around 80% of the global population lives in countries that are net-importers of fossil fuels -- that’s about 6 billion people who are dependent on fossil fuels from other countries, which makes them vulnerable to geopolitical shocks and environmental crises.”

In contrast, renewable energy sources are available in all countries, and their potential is yet to be fully realised. In fact, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that 90% of the world’s electricity can and should come from renewable energy by 2050.

3. Clean Air

The burning of fossil fuels for traditional energy sources is widely connected to unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 99% of people in the world breathe air that gravely exceeds air quality thresholds and threatens general human health, with more than 13 million deaths around the world each year due to avoidable environmental causes, including air pollution.

 It’s not only an environmental matter. In 2018, air pollution from fossil fuels caused $2.9 trillion in health and economic costs, about $8 billion a day. Switching to clean sources of energy like solar can help to address not only climate change but also air pollution and health.

Image credit: Giorgio Trovato/Unsplash

Understanding the Benefits of Solar Energy for Homeowners 

As more and more homeowners become environmentally and fiscally conscious, solar energy is gaining in popularity. It's becoming clear that solar panels are not only good for the planet but also for wallets. Selecting the right solar system can help homeowners decrease their carbon footprint and save on monthly energy bills.

1. Solar Saves Money for Everyday Homeowners

While the upfront cost of installation may seem daunting, many states offer rebates and incentives for homeowners who install solar panels and long term savings thereafter. 

 Many states across the country recognize the importance of renewable energy and are incentivizing solar panel installation through rebates. Currently, there are around ten states that offer some form of a state solar tax credit. For instance, residents of California can receive up to $4,620 in rebates for their solar panel system, while homeowners in North Carolina can take advantage of a 35% tax credit. With options like these, going solar has never been more affordable and accessible for homeowners. 

 2. Access to SREC Programs

Short for Solar Renewable Energy Credits ( SRECs) allow homeowners with solar panels to earn credits for the energy their panels produce. These credits can then be sold to utility companies or other entities required to produce a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources. By participating in an SREC program, homeowners can earn a significant financial benefit that helps offset the cost of installing solar panels.

Currently, several states offer SREC programs, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., Delaware, and Ohio. You can partner with an SREC aggregator or sell SRECs yourself - but most people go with an aggregator for its ease.

3. Solar Increases Property Valuations

Solar panels are a valuable investment in that they can increase a property's value. Studies have found that homes with solar panels sell faster and for higher prices than those without. Why? Well, for starters, homeowners who go solar save money on their electricity bills, which is an attractive prospect for potential buyers. If you are already part of an SREC program that can be passed on, this is a cherry on top for any new buyer.

4. Less Vulnerable to Fluxuating Utilities Rates

With the constant fluctuations in the pricing of utilities, adding a solar system to your house not only provides you with a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative but it also makes you less vulnerable to these sudden price changes. Investing in a solar system for your house not only provides you with a smart financial investment for the long-term but also provides you with the peace of mind knowing that your energy costs won't be skyrocketing out of control anytime soon.

 

Image credit: Forbes Home

The Impact of Solar Energy on Business and Industry

In the constant pursuit of finding sustainable and economically feasible energy sources, solar energy is quickly becoming a preferred choice for businesses and industries worldwide. The benefits of incorporating solar energy into a company's infrastructure are numerous, ranging from cost savings to environmental improvements. 

1. Maintaining the Bottom Line

For starters, solar energy is a reliable and renewable source of energy, which means that companies can significantly reduce their reliance on non-renewable sources like coal and oil and the fluctuating prices that come with them. 

2. Meeting Energy Budgets

The installation of solar power businesses can significantly reduce energy bills and generate additional revenue through selling back excess energy generated to the grid, creating a net positive cash flow. 

3. Compliance with ESG Reporting

As ESG considerations continue to gain traction in the business world, and companies are looking for ways to make sustainable changes within their operations, one key area that can have a significant impact on a company's environmental footprint is transitioning to solar and renewable energy sources. 

 A company can instantly meet metrics that lower its carbon footprint by implementing solar panels and other renewable energy options. While ESG reporting is still not mandatory, 494 of the S&P 500 companies disclosed some level of ESG-related information for periods ending in 2021, making it the standard for players looking for large-scale commercial growth and investment. 

4. Green Energy Leadership

Investing in solar energy has a positive impact on a company's reputation, as it demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Even when not mandated, adopting renewable energy shows industry leadership and contributes to a reimagined, greener DNA model. 

 

Harnessing the Power of the Sun – How to Get Started With Solar Today 

Let US Solar Supplier guide you on your renewable energy journey. Harnessing the sun has never been easier with our team of experts, Just in Time logistics program, and access to one of the biggest wholesale sale markets in the world.