Have you always been interested in solar technology but never looked into how it’s progressed? Here are 10 stunning facts you need to see to believe.
Around 9 in 10 Americans are strongly in favor of the expansion of solar energy.
And yet, people don’t know much about solar technology.
Are you interested in knowing how solar technology is changing the world as we know it? You’ve come to the right place!
Prepare to be amazed at the developments in solar technology over the past few decades.
Here are the top 10 facts about solar technology. Let’s go!
1. Solar Is the Most Abundant Energy on Earth
How powerful is a single hour of solar energy?
Well, a single hour of solar beaming down on the Earth is largely equal to humanity’s energy need for a whole year.
Therefore, the task of solar technology is simply to harness as much of the solar energy to power the world.
If solar technology achieves this, then we could leave the fossil fuels in the ground.
2. The Price of Solar Panels Has Fallen by 99%
Do you remember 1977?
Jimmy Carter was elected President, Elvis Presley passed away and Star Wars opened in the cinema.
In the solar world, the price of solar was nearly $77 per watt. That was a lot of money back then.
The developments in solar technology mean that now this price has fallen to only $0.21 per watt.
Quite a transformation from when President Carter covered the White House in solar panels.
Back then, solar technology was only for the rich and famous. Now, it’s available to ordinary Americans.
3. Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels
You’re probably thinking – “yeah, but it’s still expensive compared to natural gas or coal, right?”
Well, actually it’s not!
Solar is actually the lowest cost energy option. The average cost is 4.3 cents per kWh.
And yet, even natural gas (the cheapest fossil fuel energy source) costs at least 4.2 cents per kWh. But, it’s often much more than this.
Of course, it depends on where you want to produce solar energy. The sunnier a location, the more suitable for solar technology.
If the current trends are anything to go on, soon enough solar energy is going to be the future.
4. Solar Power Plants a Built to Last
You may have heard that coal power plants near to retirement age. This is a common problem among fossil fuel and nuclear energy power plants.
Solar power plants can last much longer.
Most solar power plants are built with the support of a so-called power purchase agreement with the customers. This agreement can hold up to 25 years.
And yet, after this time, the solar power plant is far from nearing retirement age. The solar panels have a life expectancy of up to 30 years.
Even when the solar panels require renewal, the replacement of the old panels with new solar technology can be accomplished at a low cost while improving the performance overall.
5. China Is Showing the Way
Since 2011, China has been the second-largest economy in the world. The U.S. is the biggest. However, when it comes to solar energy, they’re the biggest player.
Solar energy has only recently entered the mainstream in the U.S. while it is a major business in China.
The U.S. reached 60 GW of solar energy capacity in 2018. Comparatively, China has already surpassed the 100 GW mark. China is also forecast to reach 200 GW by the year 2020.
6. California Is the Leader in the U.S.
California is the leader in the U.S. and they have been responsible for many of the success stories of solar energy.
California has more than 23 GW of solar energy capacity installed.
North Carolina and Arizona are also big players in the U.S. solar industry, but neither comes close to the Golden State.
California has already set the target of becoming carbon-neutral by the year 2045, which is one of the most ambitious targets in the world.
Many other states need to emulate California if the U.S. wants to enjoy a cleaner, safer and more affordable energy system.
7. Solar Is Fast to Deploy in Emergency
Solar energy is the fastest and most effective energy source for disaster relief in case of an emergency.
When the electricity infrastructure is destroyed by natural disasters, it’s not easy to rebuild and repair in a short space of time. Solar electric power plants can be constructed in only a few weeks.
This was demonstrated in the wake of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The rapid rollout of solar energy facilities saved lives in some of the harshest conditions.
8. Solar Is Everywhere
It’s common to hear about large solar energy systems constructed in the desert.
For example, you’ve probably already heard about the solar projects in the Mojave Desert which are going to power 140,000 homes in California.
However, you may be surprised to hear that solar energy is distributed widely across the country.
For example, did you know that Walmart is the second largest corporate solar energy buyer?
The retail giant recently announced an agreement with the solar energy supplier SunPower for a further expansion of solar.
9. Solar Technology can Help to Combat Climate Change
According to the United Nations, Climate Change is the biggest threat to humanity and the global economy.
If we want to leave a safe and clean planet for our children, then we need to switch to renewable energy sources.
As a cheap and cost-effective clean energy source, solar technology can lead to the way to a better environment for all.
10. There Are so Many Solar Options
If you’re interested in switching to solar energy, there are so many solar options for you.
You can choose to install solar panels on the roof of your home. You can even continue tiny home living with a solar generator.
If you don’t have a suitable home for roof panels, you can purchase electricity from a solar energy provider.
Furthermore, you can also become a participant in a solar energy community program, in which you become part of a power purchase agreement.
More Solar Energy Facts
Solar technology is no longer a pipe-dream for people who want to save the world.
Nowadays, solar energy is one of the biggest businesses in the U.S. and around the world.
Do you want to read about how technology is transforming the world? Check out our blog here for more technology trends.