The benefits of solar energy can be broken down into two distinct categories:
Financial Benefits of
Owning Your Own Electricity. Owning Your Own Electricity. If you choose to invest in a solar energy system, you are gaining an asset with a ton of long-term value. Whenever you use electricity from the utility company, you are essentially “renting” the power so that you can run your devices. With solar energy, you are able to produce electricity right on your own roof without having to pay the electricity company a dime. Over the course of their lifetime, your solar panels will pay for themselves, and more.
Immediate Savings on Monthly Bills. For some, installing solar panels can translate into immediate, short term savings as on a home’s or business’s total monthly costs. If your system is large enough, then there is a good chance that it will be able to completely eliminate your electric bill. Whether you buy or finance your solar panels, in some instances, your monthly payment may be lower than what you are used to paying the utility company. With that you are able to financially benefit from solar energy immediately upon installation.
Increased Home Value. It’s true, solar panels increase the value of your home. Think about it, if you were purchasing a home, then you may be willing to pay a little extra upfront knowing that your electricity costs will say low in your new space. Therefore, you will still be able to financially benefit from installing solar panels, even if you decide to move away.
Environmental Benefits of
Better Local Air Quality. Studies have shown that areas which have increased solar adoption while decreasing reliance on fossil fuels have seen tremendous benefits in local air quality. Whenever natural gas or coal is burned to create electricity, harmful pollutants are released into the atmosphere. The life cycle of clean electricity generated by a solar energy system makes it one of the most environmentally-friendly sources of electricity.
Truly Renewable Energy. Another leg-up that solar energy has on fossil fuels is its sheer availability. Solar energy is truly renewable, as there is an endless amount of sunlight to power our world. Plus, solar panels are made of silicon, which happens to be the second most abundant element on the planet (after oxygen), making up nearly 30% of the Earth’s crust. As a bonus, up to 90% of most solar panels can be recycled after producing electricity for over 30 years.
Less Water Usage. Access to clean water may in fact be the world’s most valuable resource, and it is at risk in a growing number of areas. Sources of energy such as hydropower and nuclear use a large amount of water to generate electricity. Likewise, both the coal and equipment used to extract it require heavy amounts of washing, with millions of gallons of water being used per day. The adoption of solar energy, on the other hand, is believed to be able to reduce local water use significantly in many parts of the United States.