Solar energy offers a greener alternative to fossil fuels and biomass, but many still wonder, “Why is solar energy important?”
In this article, you’ll find out exactly why. Read on for our top ten list of reasons why this form of energy should be a vital part of our future.
1. Limitless Energy
So why is solar energy important on a higher level, beyond your home’s energy costs? The answer lies in the opportunity to harness unlimited energy. Unlike coal, gas, and oil (aka fossil fuels) that will eventually run out, the sun’s power is renewable and limitless. Most importantly, the sun’s power can meet and satisfies our energy demands (1).
The Sun emits enough power onto Earth each second to satisfy the entire human energy demand for over two hours.
Ultimately, that’s a pretty powerful reason why renewable energy is important. We don’t have to worry if there’s enough energy for the future! Plus, solar energy is readily available, meaning it’s already here. We can save time, money, and resources, and put a stop to harming the environment for our energy needs. Moreover, many individuals can harness solar power, regardless of their location.
2. Low Operational Costs
One may think that the operational costs of solar power is expensive. But that’s not entirely true. Once you’ve acquired the solar panels, batteries, inverters, and controllers, you can immediately harness the sun’s power for FREE. And, you don’t have to deal with fluctuating electricity rates!
Another misconception is that shifting to solar power systems will cost you an arm and a leg (even more). However, since the number of potential solar technology consumers has gone up, you can expect a lower price of hardware and other soft costs associated with solar power (2).
How about the installation fees? There are also more solar installation experts than ever, which has reduced labor costs for installations of all kinds. Plus, there is always an option to DIY a solar power installation.
3. A Clean and Renewable Source of Energy
Unlike fossil fuels, using the sun’s power doesn’t emit any waste that puts the environment at risk. This is because there is no combustion involved to produce electricity – carbon emission is basically non-existent! Solar energy also doesn’t create any greenhouse gases.
Solar power systems work by simply capturing the electromagnetic radiation and converting it to useable electricity (3).
Harnessing solar energy doesn’t create waste, and it’s a source of power that never gets used up in the same way that other resources such as coal and oil get depleted over time.
Plus, as we’ve mentioned before, the sun’s power is limitless, meaning we can harness this source of energy for growing demands and needs!
4. Gives You More Control Over Your Electricity Bills and Usage
Fluctuating electricity rates are a normal occurrence for many countries around the globe. Some may have higher fees during the summer, while others have rotational blackouts and even electricity schedules. By shifting to solar power, you are taking back your power.
Many homeowners ask, “why is solar energy important?” and the main reasons have to do with how solar power works, the electricity usage in your home, and how to control the cost of your electrical bill by choosing when to use the power provided by your local power grid.
Many homes with solar panel setups also get the advantage of tracking power usage throughout the day so they can make decisions about how the energy gets used.
5. Takes Your Home Off-Grid
Many of us dream of sustainable, environmentally responsible, and self-sufficient off-the-grid living.
Years ago, that meant giving up like a lightbulb and refrigerator. But thanks to the ongoing technological advances in solar technology, it’s easier than ever to transition to off-grid living, while keeping modern conveniences within a reach. This transition allows homeowners to create their power and choose whether to connect to the local power grid or live completely off-the-grid.
The advancement of solar power systems, as we’ve mentioned, is one reason that upfront and operational costs are easier in the pockets.
With a few hundreds of dollars and around a half an hour of your time, your off-grid set up could look something like this:
6. Offers Heat and Light
When solar panels are connected to an inverter and a controller, a solar power system can power your entire home, including household equipment and fixtures for heat and light. Some appliances can be hooked up directly to a solar power system if you prefer part-time off-grid living.
The convenience of having a solar power system is also excellent for those who are in remote locations where conventional power hook-ups aren’t possible. If you intend to go 100% solar for your entire home, it’s important to know your day-to-day energy needs. You can ask a solar power company to assess your energy demands, and they’ll give you a complete run-down of how many batteries, solar panels, and inverters you need to sustain a solar-power living.
7. Brings Power to Under-utilized Land
Yes, metro cities are already crowded. But that’s doesn’t mean having solar power will not become accessible for everyone! There are many vast areas on land worldwide that are far away from central cities and largely left unused. This land could be home to solar panels that collect energy and create value in reliable and consistent power for residents.
For example, a 45-acre solar farm created in the UK in 2017 contains over 30,000 solar panels that can bring ample power for 2500 homes in the area (4).
8. Improves the Security of the Power Grid
Remember the fluctuating electricity rates? That’s partly because of the growing demand. When we consume more electricity, the power grid can’t handle the sudden surge. This will then prompt electric companies to either increase the rates to sustain the power generation costs or schedule rotational brownouts.
As more homes source their power from solar energy, the power grid becomes more stable as each home functions as its own power plant that doesn’t need to draw power from the public grid. To expand on that – Independence from grid power can be invaluable during disasters and can reduce the number of blackouts and brownouts experienced for all.
9. Reduces Environmental Threats
Harvesting fossil fuels and setting up a production plant disrupt native wildlife. And, this is one advantage of solar panels – it doesn’t cause damage to natural areas.
Many commercial or residential properties that use solar power have solar panels fitted on the roof, which makes a lot of sense since the area receives more direct sunlight. Plus, putting solar panels on the roof means you don’t need extra space to harness the sun’s power.
So if you’re concerned about the environment and wondering why solar energy is important, you can look at how non-renewable sources of energy cause harm in your local area.
10. No Toxic Substances or Contaminants Emitted
Did you know that switching to solar can improve overall public health? Remember, solar power doesn’t emit any toxic contaminants because there’s is no combustion involved in capturing the sun’s energy and converting it to electricity. And that doesn’t only benefit the environment, but also us (5).
Coal and natural gas plants produce air and water pollution that is harmful to human health. But replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, such as solar power, can reduce premature mortality as well as overall health care costs.
That said, solar power is a cleaner source of energy for Mother Nature and human beings – it’s a win-win source of energy that all living things can benefit from, directly or indirectly. On the other hand, fossil fuels create a toxic environment for everyone!
- The Future of Solar is Bright, Retrieved from: https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2019/future-solar-bright/
- How Does Solar Work?, Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/how-does-solar-work
- Solar Power Information, Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/solar-power
- Subsidary Free Solar, Retrieved from: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/subsidy-free-solar-comes-to-the-uk
- Top Four Benefits of Installing Solar Panels, Retrieved from: https://www.usgbc.org/articles/top-four-benefits-installing-solar-panels-your-home
- Soft Costs 101: The Key to Achieving Cheaper Solar Energy. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/soft-costs-101-key-achieving-cheaper-solar-energy