Earth Day: Solar Power as a Renewable Energy Source
Happy Earth Day! To celebrate, we want to take a moment to discuss the many great advancements made in sustainability, particularly in regards to solar power. According to the Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s 2015 Factbook, wind and solar have more than tripled in capacity since 2008! While that in itself is an impressive feat, what’s more, impressive is that their capacity continues to increase at an exponential rate.
You may be asking, why has solar been able to grow at such an incredible rate? The answer is three-fold. First, recent advancements in panel production have made it so that solar panels for homeowners are much more affordable. Second, government incentives and initiatives are supporting sustainable energy in the United States. Third, with continually increasing utility prices nationwide, more individuals are demanding a renewable, stable source for their electricity needs, whether that is a home installation, or more solar farms to serve the grid.
So what does this growth do for our planet? A lot. Take a look at the infographic by Eton below. For every 1kW home solar panel installed, every year you are saving 170 pounds of coal from being burned, 300 pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, and 105 gallons of water from being consumed. Pretty incredible, right? More incredible, the average household install in the United States is a 5kW system, so for every home that goes solar, you can multiply those numbers by 5!
Let’s put that in relatable terms. Over the 30 years of production for a 6.7 kW system, installing a solar system is the equivalent of driving 60,000 miles less, planting 2,400 trees, and avoiding 80,000 gallons of water used in electricity production. It’s no wonder the government is incentivizing individuals and businesses to go solar!
Whether you are going solar for savings or environmental reasons, the result is the same.
Happy Earth Day!