American Solar Fuels the USA
By Laureen Peck, Solar Energy World
We are going through some trying times right now, but it is still is good to remember how lucky we are to live in a free, democratic country. Even if you are practicing social distancing, there are all kinds of creative ways to celebrate July 4th. For example, you could show your friends and neighbors that you believe we are all in this together by flying our flag, promoting a U.S. charity or holding a “virtual” Independence Day party.
You could also choose to go solar. Yes, going solar really is patriotic. Here’s why:
Today, two million residential, commercial and utility-scale solar installations produce enough electricity each year to power more than 12 million American homes. By 2024, 2.5 percent of all U.S. homes will be solar powered. One reason solar adoption is growing so quickly in our country is because cost barriers for homeowners have virtually disappeared.
In many states, like New Jersey, Florida, Maryland and Pennsylvania, you can pay $0 for solar panels and installation with a Solar Lease or Solar PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) to lock in a lower electricity rate than your utility. This means you can literally pay nothing to contribute positively to our society by adding pollution-free power to the grid that benefits everyone in your community while you personally benefit from energy cost savings.
But how else does your personal choice to run your home on sunshine impact all Americans?
How Solar Fuels the USA: Top 3 Reasons Why Going Solar is Good For America:
1) Solar helps grow the US economy.
The bottom line is that the solar industry is a major job creator. Until the COVID-19 crisis hit, the clean energy industry in the USA was growing jobs at a faster rate than the coal, gas and oil industries combined and was one of the fastest growing industries overall, increasing 100% between 2000 and 2018. In 2019, Solar accounted for 40% of all new electricity generation capacity in the US, making it the fastest growing energy sector, expanding an average of 48% a year for the last decade. In fact, Solar jobs were growing 20 times faster than the national average for all job types!
Unfortunately, that growth has been slowed due to the virus. The good news is that the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2020 Global Energy Review has found “Renewables will stand alone as the only generation class to experience growth in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic delivers the most seismic shock to the power sector since the Great Depression.”
The solar industry is surviving because there are still thousands of Americans switching to solar every day mainly because they know it will save them money which is especially important during an economic crisis. Powering a home on fossil fuel alone actually costs more.
2) Solar increases American energy independence without increasing land, water or air pollution.
Let’s face it. There has never been a war fought over solar power because no country owns the sun. When you go solar you help decrease our country’s dependence on foreign oil and other imported fossil fuels.
Of course we can get fossil fuel energy from our own country by doing more drilling, mining and fracking on public lands or selling our backyards to gas and oil companies for this purpose. However, when you go solar you help promote our country’s energy independence without increasing pollution or spoiling our country’s wild spaces.
3) Solar helps protect America’s beauty and bounty for future generations.
The average household emits approximately 20 metric tons of carbon pollution each year. Solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions because the electricity that solar panels produce have low emissions.
Most of America’s greenhouse gas emissions from residential electricity usage comes from coal-fired power plants that generate energy. Households using oil and gas also contribute.
According to The U.S. Green Building Council, by installing a solar power system, a typical two-person household reduces their carbon emissions by three to four tons annually.
You Can Make a Difference
Now you know how solar fuels the USA. If you are feeling patriotic, or are looking for a way to support your country and fellow Americans, finding out if your home is eligible for solar power is one of the best things you can do right now. Plus you don’t have to go anywhere or meet with anyone in person to learn if solar is right for you.
Solar Energy World can give you a no-contact solar evaluation by phone or online. Simply fill out the form on this page or call 866.856.4580.