The solar energy market has grown immensely over the past few years. After a slow start during the early 1990s, the solar energy industry has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy. Year on year growth figures hover around 80 to 100 percent, with an estimated 94% growth in 2016 alone. In the first quarter of 2016, companies across the country installed a total 1,665 megawatts (MW) of solar panels, reaching a total of 29.3 gigawatts (GW) of installed power. This is enough to power 5.7 million homes, a huge number considering that only ten years ago we only had enough to power 25,000 homes.
These numbers look great, that’s a fact, but let’s take a look at other exciting figures coming from this booming industry:
1. Solar energy is renewable
Practically, solar energy is unlimited. According to experts, the earth receives 10,000 times what we currently need. We only need to use about 0.02% of this energy to live for ages to come. Earth also loses a lot of this solar energy by reflection, roughly 52 petawatts each year, the combined equivalent of 1 million Hoover Dams, UK’s energy requirement for 250,000 years, 400 hurricanes and 75 million cars.
2. Solar power means government subsidies
The United States provides tax exemptions and subsidies to people who choose to power their homes with solar panels. Federal subsidies can reach up to 30 percent of the system’s cost, but state governments can help too. Florida and California, two sunshine states, are famous for being the first ones to offer attractive incentives to solar energy consumers.
3. Solar panels are cheaper than ever
Solar panels are now 100 times cheaper than in 1977. Today, solar panels are about a third of the price they were back in 2008.
4. Solar energy can change how we live
If only 5 percent of Americans will go solar, we could take 8 million cars off the roads and remove 90 million pounds of CO2 from the environment. Also, we could offset the entire fleet of automobiles produced in 2007.
5. Solar panels are becoming popular worldwide
Almost 70 percent of solar panels worldwide have been installed during the past three years. In the United States, 68 percent of solar panels have been installed during the past 2.5 years.
6. Solar panels help you save money
The average American who went solar back in 2011 saved a lot of money. Figures go from as low as $5,000 in Northern areas of the country, to $15,000 in Southern areas, such as California or Florida. In twenty years, this figure could climb up to $34,000 in California, and $33,000 in Florida.
7. Solar energy has a great ROI
You will get more money back than ever. Estimates show that going solar might be even more effective, in the long run, than investing in S&P 500 stocks. Moreover, in 2/3 of the states, you get better returns than 30-year treasury bonds. In 86 percent of states, you will get a better ROI from solar energy than from a 5 year certificate deposit.
8. Banks will support you going solar
You can get solar panels for $0 down. There are 12 states where banks are willing to help you going solar without any down payments whatsoever.
9. Solar energy is reliable
The risk of black-outs is reduced. Everyone remembers the 2003 black-out that left 55 million Americans in the dark. Going solar means that you will likely never experience this.
Solar power is a thing of the future – the financial benefits of going solar only continue to get better. Experts suggest that the advantages, both in terms of power and finances, will double over the next few years. Solar panel prices will go down and their efficiency will continue to get better. For questions and concerns about installing solar panels, contact Bob Heinmiller Solar today.
[Image via Google Images]