What I really love about switching to solar power is the positive impact is has on our environment. That is not the only advantage of solar energy. Solar can also provide monetary benefits from the moment the system is installed. Decreasing the monthly power bill and in some local areas, you are able to sell your extra electricity to the power company for cash.
Advantages of Solar Power List
No green house gases
The first and foremost advantage of solar energy is that, beyond panel production, it does not emit any green house gases.
Solar energy is produced by conducting the sun’s radiation – a process void of any smoke, gas, or other chemical by-product.
This is the main driving force behind all green energy technology, as nations attempt to meet climate change obligations in curbing emissions.
Italy’s Montalto di Castro solar park is a good example of solar’s contribution to curbing emissions. It avoids 20,000 tonnes per year of carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel energy production.
Ongoing Free Energy
Another advantage of using solar energy is that beyond initial installation and maintenance, solar energy is free.
Solar doesn’t require expensive and ongoing raw materials like oil or coal, and requires significantly lower operational labor than conventional power production. Raw materials don’t have to be constantly extracted, refined, and transported to the power plant.
Life expectancy ranges between manufacturers, but many panels produced today carry a 25-30 year warranty – with a life expectancy of up to 40 years.
Decentralization of power
Solar energy offers decentralization in most (sunny) locations, meaning self-reliant societies.
Oil, coal, and gas used to produce conventional electricity is often transported cross-country or internationally. This transportation has a myriad of additional costs, including monetary costs, pollution costs of transport, and roading wear and tear costs, all of which is avoided with solar.
Of course, decentralization has its limits as some locations get more sunlight than others.
Solar’s avoidance of politics and price volatility
One of the biggest advantages of solar energy is the ability to avoid the politics and price volatility that is increasingly characterizing fossil fuel markets.
The sun is an unlimited commodity that can be sourced from many locations, meaning solar is less vulnerable to the price manipulations and politics that have more than doubled the price of many fossil fuels in the past decade.
While the price of fossil fuels have increased, the per watt price of solar energy production has more than halved in the past decade – and is set to become even cheaper in the near future as better technology and economies of scale take effect.
Furthermore, the ever-abundant nature of the sun’s energy would hint at a democratic and competitive energy market – where wars aren’t fought over oil fields and high-demand raw materials aren’t controlled by monopolies.
Of course, a new form of politics has emerged with regard to government incentives and the adoption of solar, however these politics are arguably minor compared to the fossil fuel status quo.
Saving eco-systems and livelihoods
Because solar doesn’t rely on constantly mining raw materials, it doesn’t result in the destruction of forests and eco-systems that occurs with many fossil fuel operations.
Destruction can come in many forms, from destruction through accepted extraction methods, to more irresponsible practices in vulnerable areas, to accidents.
Major examples include Canada’s tar sands mining which involves the systematic destruction of the Boreal Forest (which accounts for 25% of the world’s intact forest land), and creates large toxic by-product ponds.
The Niger Delta is an example where excessive and irresponsible oil extraction practices have poisoned fishing deltas previously used by villagers as the main source of food and employment, creating extremely desperate poverty and essentially decimating villages.
A more widely known, but arguably lower human-cost incident is the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It killed 11 people and spilled 780 thousand cubic meters of crude oil into the sea.
(source: Greg Whitburn on exploringgreentechnology.com)
Solar Energy: An Investment to the Future
Investing in a solar power system for your home will provide many future financial benefits. Think about the savings in just the monthly power bill. I know I would be happy with just that. But is goes beyond that. With local power company incentives, you can get paid for the extra electricity your solar power panels generate.
1. Solar Helps You Save on Your Electric Bill
Probably the biggest advantage of solar energy is immediate electricity bill savings. No matter how small your installation, you begin receiving smaller monthly bills from your local utility company – from Day 1.
But how large are these electricity bill savings?
Answering this depends on 2 important factors:
- Solar energy is a modular technology, meaning you can install as many or as few panels as you like – whenever you like. Each new kilowatt of installed solar capacity brings you bigger electricity bill savings. With a large enough installation, it’s possible to reduce your energy bill completely. Thanks to solar energy, countless Americans already pay $0 a month to their local utility.
- However large your installation, you can expect your electricity bill savings to grow with time. As utility rates increase, clean energy from the sun remains consistently free. Solar is an investment that pays increasingly large dividends with each passing year.
In the charts below, you can see some average solar system costs and estimated 20-year electricity savings from a study conducted back in 2011. The cost of solar has come down tremendously since then, so the average savings in many states should be better for people who go solar today than they were for people who went solar in 2011. But in the end, it’s not about averages — it’s about how much you can save.
2. Solar Energy and Income Generation
Depending on where you live, solar panels not only help you save on your electricity bill – they can also generate passive income.
Many states, like New Jersey and California, offer generous renewable energy incentivesdesigned to encourage solar photovoltaic (PV) adoption. If you qualify for these incentives, your local utility company actually pays you for the clean energy that your panels produce – either with direct cash or through credits.
At that point, your electricity bill isn’t simply $0 – it’s in the negative.
To learn whether you qualify for these incentives, run a free solar report on your property and get a free options consultation today. It costs you nothing to explore your solar PV options, and the potential upside is unlimited.
3. Solar Energy and Higher Property Values
Because solar energy helps you save on your electricity bill, it’s an investment that pays for itself many times over the 25+ year lifetime of your installation.
But the advantages of solar energy extend well beyond electricity bill savings.
Solar energy can also fetch you a much higher asking price when it comes time to sell your home. An average sized installation on a $500,000 property can add $20,000 or more to the retail value of your home – an amount that exceeds the average cost of most residential solar installations, meaning you could not only be reducing or eliminating your electricity bill but also getting 100% of your money back when and if you sell the home. By contrast, most kitchen remodeling projects only deliver returns of 60%.
If you’re going to make home improvements, solar energy is pretty difficult to top. You enjoy lower electricity bills for as long as you remain in your house. And when it comes time to sell, you recoup 100% of your investment thanks to your property’s higher asking price.
Save you money, make you money, and invest in the future! With just the three monetary benefits above, you can clearly see paying up for a solar energy kit for your home is a solid investment. Not only will it decrease your monthly bills, but solar also has the ability to make you money each month.
More Solar Power Positives
Advantage: Solar cells make absolutely no noise at all. They do not make a single peep while extracting useful energy from the sun. On the other hand, the giant machines utilized for pumping oil are extremely noisy and therefore very impractical.
Advantage: Solar energy creates absolutely no pollution. This is perhaps the most important advantage that makes solar energy so much more practical than oil. Oil burning releases harmful greenhouses gases, carcinogens and carbon dioxide into our precious air.
Advantage: Very little maintenance is required to keep solar cells running. There are no moving parts in a solar cell, which makes it impossible to really hurt them. Solar cells tend to last a good long time with only an annual cleaning to worry about.
Advantage: Solar panels and solar lighting may seem quite expensive when you first purchase it, but in the long run you will find yourself saving quite a great deal of money. After all, it does not cost anything to harness the power of the sun. Unfortunately, paying for oil is an expensive prospect and the cost is still rising consistently. Why pay for expensive energy when you can harness it freely?
Advantage: Solar powered panels and products are typically extremely easy to install. Wires, cords and power sources are not needed at all, making this an easy prospect to employ.
Advantage: Solar power technology is improving consistently over time, as people begin to understand all of the benefits offered by this incredible technology. As our oil reserves decline, it is important for us to turn to alternative sources for energy.
Is Solar For You?
The list of advantages of solar power goes on and on. The monetary and environmental positives put the initial cost of investment into perspective. After all, switching to solar panels is an investment to the future.