Why chose Solar? As an intern with Sun Directed, I am taking the first steps toward a career in solar energy. There are many power options I could to focus on in my energy career. Today I can choose power from the wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, coal, oil, or solar. Why then, out of all these options, do I choose solar?
Let’s look at the top five reasons I chose solar energy:
Reason #1: The Sun is Everywhere
One of the best reasons to choose solar energy is that my home will always get some amount of sunlight (unless I move to the north or south pole). To access solar energy I don’t need to construct a drilling rig, build a massive pipeline for oil or gas, string high-voltage cables, or flood a valley to make a dam. With solar, the energy source is already there.
In choosing solar energy, I am building my own personal power plant. Don’t forget, this power plant that causes minimal to no environmental destruction while reducing my personal carbon footprint. It also allows me to generate my own electricity without having to pay a utility company to act as a middle-man. This last detail also means that in the event of a blackout, my home can continue to generate power. This leads to my second reason:
Reason #2: The Sun is Predictable and Dependable
In addition to worldwide availability, the sun is also predictable and dependable. I never wake up in the morning wondering the sun will come up today. Based on my location, I can calculate when the sun will rise and set, and the path it will take across the sky. Solar installers combine this location data with the predictability of cloud coverage and shading from buildings or tree to design solar arrays specific to each site. Because of this, they can provide an extremely accurate estimation for the expected power generation.
Reason #3: Solar Technology is Constantly Improving
In the last decade, we have made great improvements in the field of solar technology. Across the US ]solar power use is increasing. Because of the growing popularity of solar energy, the number manufacturers of solar panels has also increased. As a result, competition among manufacturers brought about increases in the efficiency and affordability of solar panels.
Additionally, by learning from the performance issue of older systems, engineers are developing new systems that last longer and generate more power over their lifetime. Today, it is not uncommon for a solar panel to last up to 40 years with only a slight decrease in performance over that lifetime.
Reason #4: Solar Energy is a Logical Financial Investment
One of the main reasons for someone to not choose solar energy is the cost of installation. While these costs may seem high, a solar array is a good home improvement (see our previous blog post “How Much Do Solar Panels Really Cost?” for more details on this). Another great benefit is the immediate savings on my electric bill. These monthly savings can add up to significant amounts over the lifetime of the system.
Having my own power plant in the form of a solar energy system means the electricity generated by me is not subject the increasing price per kilowatt-hour charged by my utility company. Additionally, there is a federal tax credit for installing a solar energy system. All of these make it possible to have the system pay for itself over time and even save me money beyond.
Reason #5: Protecting the Environment
It is important to note that environmental concerns are one of the strongest reasons for someone to switch to renewable energy. Whether you worry about human accelerated global climate change or not, the fact is that using non-renewable energy sources leaves a permanent scar on the earth.
I love hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and outdoor activities. So it is important to me to preserve nature with my choices and activities. Protecting natural resources while saving money on utility bills makes solar the right choice for me.
Ultimately, choosing of solar energy is up to each of us. With this in mind, I urge anyone who, like me, was exposed to incorrect information on solar to contact one of our solar professionals and find out if solar is right for you.