Top Benefits of Solar Energy that make investment in solar panels worth it

Why go for solar – major advantages of solar power.

benefits of solar energy

Top benefits of Solar energy

If you’re thinking of going for solar power for your home, it’s worth taking a few minutes to have a closer look at the following major benefits of solar energy, which would help you to take an informed decision in your home energy selection.

While many people go for solar due to substantial financial benefits of solar power, most of them are not aware of several other advantages of solar power, especially the environmental and health benefits. Without the knowledge of all the available benefits of solar energy besides financial ones, it’s difficult to determine which energy source is right for your home and business. Let us take a closer look at what solar energy is and what the top benefits of solar energy are.

What Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is an alternative energy source that is harnessed from the energy radiated from the sun and is converted into usable household energy to power our homes and domestic appliances. If implemented correctly, the use of solar energy can greatly reduce our home’s dependency on fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil.

The solar panels, which are typically installed on the roof of a house or in a field near the home, capture the solar radiation and convert the sun’s energy into electricity. The solar panels are made up of many Photovoltaic or solar cells. Sunlight is composed of minuscule particles called photons or “packets” of energy, which radiate from the sun in the form of electromagnetic waves. As these light particles hit the silicon Photovoltaic cells, the energy from the photons is transferred to the loose electrons in the silicon atoms. The energized electrons are then able to escape their bond with the atoms and move freely from one layer to the other layer of the cells resulting in flow of usable electricity.

Top 7 benefits of solar energy

1. Reduces your energy expenses

Among the major benefits of solar energy the most attractive one is that by switching to solar there is significant savings on your energy bill. Whether you are a homeowner, or owner of small business, electricity costs can make up a large portion of your monthly expenses. With a solar system, you’ll generate free power for your system’s entire lifecycle (25+ years). One of the advantages of solar power is that by going solar you are taking control of your future energy expenses meaning that you will be consuming less energy from the utility supplier and thereby make major savings on your utility bill. Almost all states and municipalities also offer incentives to home owners and businesses for installing solar system.

Your solar system not only helps to save on your electricity bill, it can also generate passive income for you. You would be able to make money by selling the excess electricity from your system that’s not being used by you. When the homes or businesses generate more electricity than their own requirements, the excess power from their solar systems is automatically fed back into the public grid, and a credit is allowed for this contributed electricity.

2. Energy output maximizes matching with the Peak Time Demand

One of the biggest benefits of solar panels is that they reach their maximum output during the peak demand time frame of the day (between 11:00-16:00 time frame and early in the evening) when the price of electricity maximizes. Electricity produced at that time has higher value than if it was generated at night. Consequently additional solar energy generation in peak hours eventually drives down your price of electricity to a level close to those of night off-peak hours.

3. Environmental benefits of Solar Energy

Compared to any other energy source solar energy has the least negative impact on the environment. This is one of the most important benefits of solar energy. It does not produce greenhouse gases like fossil fuels such as gas, coal and oil, our traditional energy sources, which wreaks havoc on the environment. Burning of these types of fuels releases massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the air whereas solar energy emits zero carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere. A typical residential solar system eliminates three to four tons of carbon emissions each year which is equivalent to planting of over 100 trees annually. In fact, the solar capacity currently installed across the United States is expected to offset as much as 16.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year.

Further, while extraction and production of fossil fuels require significant water resources causing water pollution, solar energy essentially requires no water to operate and thus does not pollute water resources or strain its supply.

Thus, by switching to solar energy one can play a vital role in making the environment cleaner and healthier for our future generation.

4. Health benefits of Solar Energy

The air and water pollution emitted by coal and natural gas plants is linked to several health problems. One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is that it results in very few air pollutants. A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that extensive adoption of solar power by replacing fossil fuels would significantly reduce nitrous oxides, sulphur dioxide, and particulate matter emissions, all of which can cause severe health problems. Among other health benefits of solar power, NREL study found that,  switching to solar results in fewer cases of chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Adoption of solar power replacing fossil fuels has been found to reduce premature mortality and lost workdays related to health issues.

According to a report the aggregate national economic impact associated with health problems due to use of fossil fuels is between $361.7 and $886.5 billion, or between 2.5 percent and 6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

5. Job creation benefits of solar panels 

Employment creation is one of the major benefits of solar energy industry. Compared to fossil fuel technologies, which are typically mechanized and capital intensive, the solar energy industry is more labour-intensive. This means that, on average, more jobs are created for each unit of electricity generated from solar system than from fossil fuels. This is mainly because of the fact that large part of the cost associated with solar systems comes from the installation of the solar panels. According to a study by the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2016, solar employment in USA increased by over 51,000 workers, a 25 percent increase over 2015. The study also found that the number of solar workers in the United States is totalled around 260,000. Over the past 12 months, more than one in 50 jobs in the United States was created by the solar industry.

6. Benefits of solar energy for small businesses

In the past few years there have been significant decrease in the cost of production of solar panels, making the cost of solar system much more affordable. Due to this substantial decrease in solar equipment costs switching to solar energy has been a sound investment and a good financial decision for public agencies and businesses.

Besides this fall in solar equipment cost there are a few more compelling reasons for going solar by the small businesses today.

i. Tax Incentives

One of the key advantages of solar power is that switching to solar could save you a significant amount of money because of available federal corporate tax credit. If you switch to solar energy before December 31, 2019, your business will be eligible to receive a rebate of 30% of the cost of making the transition to solar system including labour, assembly, installation, and more. In addition to this federal tax credit, you are also eligible for deduction of up to 85% of the value of your solar system from your businesses’ taxes. Additionally some utility companies also offer rebates to cover a portion of your solar power system cost. With these benefits alone, your business can significantly reduce the upfront costs of a system.

ii. Reduction in Business Operating Costs

Solar power systems essentially pay for themselves over time with reduced utility bills. Depending on the system you choose, you can considerably reduce, if not eliminate entirely, the monthly electricity bills of your business. In fact, in some states, you can even get a rebate for going solar if your solar power system produces more energy than you use. Such reductions in your monthly electricity bill can significantly reduce your business operating costs and improve your bottom line.

iii. Business Commitment to Sustainability

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are important components of an organization’s culture and values.  Installing a solar power system shows that your business is committed to sustainability. Essentially, today’s customers are more likely to support businesses that are environmentally responsible, and committed to sustainable, eco-friendly business practices. Creating a more sustainable business can have a significant positive impact on sales and customer experience. Thus, switching to solar energy is a great way to improve your company image and promote your business to attract new customers and increase revenue

7. Increases your property value

Increasing property value is also one of the most important benefits of solar power adoption. Multiple studies show that buildings equipped with solar energy systems have significant higher property value and sell faster than non-solar homes. This is especially because the system is already in place and the home buyers won’t have to make the initial investment and take the trouble for installation of solar panels to get free energy. Moreover, despite increasing your property value, a solar power system won’t increase your property taxes as other additions or building improvements would do.

Conclusion

Solar energy is the future of a clean, safe and sustainable source of energy. One of the main benefits of solar panels is that they are an extremely reliable source of power which should last 25 years or longer. The only major drawback with solar panels is that they occupy large space and the up-front costs of solar can be quite high. However, as would be evident from the description above, the benefits of solar energy system far outweigh its high installation costs and other limitations.

With innovative ideas from various scientists being developed to combat the limitations, solar energy could likely be the future of global clean energy sources. The use of solar power is already expanding rapidly across the United States and thereby hedging against volatile electricity prices. Scientists have also predicted that due to many advantages of solar power, solar energy will contribute to a quarter of the world’s energy in the not too distant future.

 

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