The greatest benefit of solar energy is how green it is. Once you make and deploy the solar panels, you have clean energy, meaning there is no carbon dioxide produced during their operation. However, there are a number of reasons to adopt solar and go green, and they go well beyond protecting the environment.
The Economic Benefits
When solar panels are installed, they begin producing electricity. This continues day after day for years. Maintained solar panels are good for decades.
For people living off the grid, it is a clean source of energy that also saves them from having to buy kerosene for light and gasoline to run a generator — they save money without sacrificing quality of life.
Solar equipment manufacturing is high tech but long-lasting. By buying solar power, you’re encouraging long-term investment in solar power plants. There are some logistical and infrastructure requirements such as wiring the solar panels and maintaining the electrical equipment, but there’s no need to constantly supply gasoline or mine coal to generate power. This helps close the foreign trade gap since we can make power ourselves.
A secondary environmental benefit is eliminating the wasted energy and the associated cost of transporting tankers full of oil and coal to power plants.
If you’ve put solar panels on the roof, they’ll generally improve the resale value of the home. They’re seen as a cost-savings just like extra insulation in the roof. This is in sharp contrast to a complex organic garden or geothermal system, since the maintenance requirements scare many potential home buyers away. And if you select a renewable energy provider for your home, you don’t have to worry about what potential home buyers might think. Conversely, you don’t have to own a home to take advantage of renewable energy delivered by your electric company.
The Social Benefits
Supporting solar power has a number of social benefits. You’re getting energy without paying for oil that ends up subsidizing oppressive Islamic regimes or wars for oil. Instead, you’re encouraging local power production through solar panels put up on rooftops and solar farms. You’re creating local high-tech, good-paying jobs, too.
These jobs are often distributed throughout the area, whereas oil field jobs are typically far from civilization. By supporting solar power, you aren’t asking people to trek to Alaska or Saudi Arabia to fuel your modern lifestyle. They’re not exposed to toxic chemicals working in a refinery or trying to sail oil tankers past pirate-infested Somalia.
The Long-Term Benefits
There are long-term benefits to adopting solar energy. Once we have solar panels, we can reuse the silicone and other metals as required. We can store the energy for future use via batteries; that has to be done anyway since the sun and solar power production both go down at night.
A side benefit of setting up batteries and other energy storage devices across the power grid is that it increases the grid’s overall resilience. If local power lines went down, a facility could rely on power produced by solar panels on the roof or pull from their batteries. They may run for several hours before things go down, and service is likely to be restored by then. If power transmission lines went down for a given community, it may not be able to send excess power to its neighbors but may meet part of its local energy needs via solar power and stored energy reserves. Some power producers rely on a mix of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources to provide a steady stream of power, all of it green.
Use an energy comparison site to shop for green energy suppliers and sign up for a plan today. You could find a renewable energy company that matches or beats your current energy provider on service and price, and you’re supporting renewable energy development with every electric bill. You’re also encouraging energy providers to invest in renewable energy through the free market. That you may save on your energy bill by putting solar panels on the roof or lead the energy provider to save money through tax credits is an added bonus.
The Impact on Quality of Life
We’ll set aside the doom and gloom projections of global warming, climate change, climate catastrophes and every other name that’s been applied to everything from hurricanes to flooding. Shifting to solar power has a direct impact on everyone’s quality of life.
By moving to solar power and other renewable sources of energy, you reduce the production of particulate pollution through the burning of coal and natural gas, thereby improving air quality for everyone. This reduces problems from asthma attacks in children to emphysema deaths in adults.