Solar energy isn’t just good for the environment. Choosing solar energy over traditional fossil fuels creates clear economic benefits. In fact, governments, scientists, and nonprofit think-tanks have all weighed in on the case for expanding solar and other renewable energy sources as the answer to the world’s energy problems.
Today, the power to choose where your energy comes from has never been more important. Let’s talk about the five reasons why tens of thousands of Texas customers are choosing solar to power their lives and improve the economy.
1. Solar Energy Diversifies the U.S. Energy Mix
Energy diversification is a huge topic within the energy industry. When a country, state or electric grid expands its energy mix, they make the intentional choice to source power from a variety of different resources, including:
Almost every energy insider agrees that diversification strengthens the security of our energy infrastructure. Having different ways of producing electricity protects consumers from price spikes and lowers the chances of a real energy crisis from a natural disaster or if any one energy source fails.
As for solar, the U.S. currently has enough solar capacity to power 16.1 million American homes, approximately 85 GW of power!1 However, solar’s got a LONG way to go before it becomes truly dominant. As of 2019, solar power only owned 1.7% of the total U.S. share of utility-scale electricity.2
What’s on the horizon for solar? The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that solar will rise by 12.8 GW in 2020 and 14 GW in 2021.3 And we’re certain it will only get bigger — and even more accessible!
2. Solar Energy Creates Jobs
It’s a plain and simple fact that clean energy creates jobs. According to the 2020 Clean Jobs America report from nonpartisan group E2, renewable energy supports more than 500,000 jobs in America. Within that, solar supports approximately 345,000 of those jobs.4
Moreover, clean energy (renewable energy being a subset) accounts for 40% of the United States’s entire energy workforce.4 That’s 40% of all energy jobs! And if the Energy Information Administration’s forecasts are accurate, that percent will only grow larger and larger.
3. Sunlight is Free and Will Never Run Out
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that sunlight is free of charge and will never run out — at least not for the next 5 billion years. Compare that to fossil fuels, and you start to see why the investment in solar energy is worthwhile.
- Sunlight is free, and it won’t run out.
- Fossil fuels are limited and could deplete to critical levels within our lifetime.
- Solar energy produces no greenhouse gas emissions.
- Fossil fuels are contributing to unprecedented climate change.
Just in the past decade, the cost of solar installations have decreased by more than 70%. In fact, prices as of Q2 2020 are at their lowest levels ever seen, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.5
4. Global Warming is Expensive
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a United Nations body that assesses the science related to climate change — concluded that we must lower greenhouse gas emissions dramatically by 2050 to prevent catastrophic change in our lives. This includes the world’s finances.
Per the 2018 special report:
- The economic damage in the United States from climate change is estimated to be, on average, roughly 1.2% cost of GDP per year per 1°C increase.
- The mean net present value of the costs of damages from warming in 2100 for 1.5°C and 2°C are $54 and $69 trillion, respectively, relative to 1961–1990.
The available solutions don’t involve trillions of dollars in damage. The multifaceted answer includes transitioning to cleaner energy sources like solar. Solar isn’t the cure-all for climate change, but it is a step in the right direction.
5. Solar Energy Can Save You Money on Your Electricity Bill
As we’ve discussed in a previous article comparing renewable energy to fossil fuels, fossil fuels are going to get more expensive over time, as renewables continue to lower in price.
What’s that mean for you and your electricity bill? Right now, solar is just as affordable — if not more affordable — than fossil fuels. Over time, the gap between the two will only increase. There’s no time like the present to join the energy transition with hundreds of thousands of your fellow Americans.
Can’t afford home solar? No worries — that’s why Chariot Energy exists! 😉 We’ve got affordable solar energy without the need for panels. Head on over to our plans page to learn more.