Benefits of Solar Energy: Our Top 10 to Know
Many of us know that solar is on its way to being the world’s primary source of energy, and we’re tempted to get on board. But if you’re on the fence about investing in a PV system of your own, you might be interested in learning a few of the benefits of solar energy.
So what are the benefits of solar energy? Let’s take a look.
1. Solar Energy Saves You Money
Converting to solar energy can reduce or eliminate the amount of electricity you use, cutting back on utility costs (1). Just one 100w solar panel can power multiple small devices such as a lamp or laptop, saving money on the devices you use the most. The ClimateRealityProject.org stated:
When it comes to energy, solar might be the closest thing to free money out there – and we haven’t even begun to touch its full potential.
To help put this bold statement into perspective, this great video by DW Planet A helps to explain the solar industry’s most recent developments:
While not entirely perfect, the innovations being made to drive down the overall prices in the solar renewable energy sector continue to show the importance of solar energy.
2. Solar Credits and Rebates
Adding to the benefits of using solar energy, did you know that switching to solar can earn you tax credits and rebates in some states?
The federal government, as well as many local governments and other organizations, offer credits and rebates that can reduce your tax burden and put money in your pocket.
3. A PV System Increases Your Home’s Value
In addition to providing immediate financial benefits, installing a solar panel system in a home raises the home’s value, allowing you to sell it for a higher price should you ever decide to move.
4. Solar Energy Decreases Dependency on Power Companies
Would you like to take your home off the power grid?
If there’s a blackout or brownout in your area, having a solar energy system in place can give your home power when you need it the most.
This can be a vital resource in cases like the 2019 California wildfires, in which over two million Californians were without power (2).
5. Solar Power Reduces Greenhouse Emissions
One of the many benefits of solar energy to the environment is that solar power produces fewer greenhouse emissions than traditional carbon-based energy sources. Reducing our carbon footprint can help slow down climate change (3).
6. Solar Energy Reduces Dependency on Fossil Fuels
Using solar power reduces the country’s dependency on fossil fuels, which in turn affects our foreign policy, reducing our reliance on countries that control the oil market (4). It also protects consumers from fluctuations in gas prices.
7. Solar Power Decreases Air Pollution
Unlike other methods of producing energy, solar power creates no air pollution. The less we rely on carbon and fossil fuels, the more we reduce air pollution.
8. Solar Energy Increases Access to Clean Water
Solar energy can increase the availability of the world’s more precious resource – water.
Coal plants rely on water for energy generation, but also pollute nearby water sources by dumping billions of pounds of toxins (5).
Making the move to solar will lead to cleaner water sources for us all (6).
9. Solar Power Can Reduce Healthcare Costs
Water and air pollution are bad for more than just the environment -they also take their toll on our health. Reducing pollution can drastically reduce the number of ER visits, and hospital stays for those with pulmonary issues caused by unclean air (7). The Union of Concerned Scientists put it like this their recent article:
Solar electricity generation represents a clean alternative to electricity from fossil fuels, with no air and water pollution, no global warming pollution, no risks of electricity price spikes, and no threats to our public health.
With the public health system in the U.S. still searching for answers to provide healthcare for each individual, no matter the financial situation, maybe solar energy can help.
10. Solar Energy Produces Jobs
One of the many economic benefits of solar energy is that it’s a quickly growing sector of the job market, creating 156,000 jobs in the past decade (8). The more common solar energy becomes, the more jobs it will create, decreasing unemployment rates and helping the nation’s economy as a whole.
Yes, in many cases solar energy can help you combat rising energy prices. As the price of solar continues to drop, electricity prices are increasing. Switching to solar can reduce your reliance on the grid, and give you the power to make more sustainable and efficient energy choices.
Yes, there are many incentives for going solar available all over the United States. Many states and utility companies offer subsidized loans, tax exemptions, solar renewable energy certificates, and performance-based incentives. In addition, there’s a Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics to help recoup your investment (9).
In our books, there are more benefits than drawbacks to solar energy, but at the end of the day it comes down to where you live.
If you live in a sunny region, and your home has room for the panels, the drawbacks to solar energy are far and few between because these systems can pay for themselves over time. If you don’t live in a sunny region, you might want to check out the downsides of solar energy to determine if this energy source is viable for you.
- How Does Solar Power Work, Anyway. Retrieved from: https://climaterealityproject.org/blog/how-does-solar-power-work-anyway
- Wind-Fueled Wildfires Push California Governor To Declare State Of Emergency. Retrieved from: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/27/773844324/2-million-californians-without-power-and-180-000-ordered-to-evacuate-amid-wildfires
- Climate Change. Retrieved from: https://www.seia.org/initiatives/climate-change
- All the selfish reasons we need an anti-oil foreign policy. It’s not just about climate. Retrieved from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/11/29/america-needs-renewable-energy-push-anti-oil-foreign-policy-column/2129903002/
- Coal and Water Pollution. Retrieved from: https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/coal-and-water-pollution
- How Solar Energy Works. Retrieved from: https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/how-solar-energy-works
- Cost and Health Consequences of Air Pollution in California. Retrieved from: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9501.
- National Solar Job Census. Retrieved from: https://www.thesolarfoundation.org/national/
- Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/01/f70/Guide%20to%20Federal%20Tax%20Credit%20for%20Residential%20Solar%20PV.pdf
Hi, Im Dara. Born and raised in Farmingdale NY and I spend my time online covering alternative energy news and local developments,in the space. My mission is to help more people realise the benefits of using alternative energy. When i’m not blogging about energy you’ll find me walking my dog, working out, or practicing meditation!