When it comes to renewable energy, you may have lots of questions. If so, you’re not alone. A simple Google search returns many articles on both sides of the argument including: why renewable energy is good, why it’s bad, can it replace fossil fuels, can it actually power the world, is it the future, why it’s still not widely used, etc. And for each question, there are a handful of articles arguing for either side.
That being said, you may be overwhelmed with information, so we’re here to break it down to 6 clear reasons we love renewable energy. Solar is of course our favorite, which is why it’s our business! But why is renewable energy important, now more than ever?
Let’s start the countdown and find out.
6. Save the planet!
Renewable energy resources help reduce global warming. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists attribute the global warming trend observed since the mid-20th century to the human expansion of the “greenhouse effect” (1), which, simply stated, means that heat from the sun is getting trapped by Earth’s gases. The burning of fossil fuels, that is, finite resources, in comparison to renewable sources is a large part of the problem.
The following chart from the IPCC in 2014 (they do a climate change report every few years) shows how much each sector is contributing to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This is important because CO2 is one of the major gasses that contributes to the greenhouse effect.
Therefore, switching to renewable energy sources (like solar panels!) can highly impact how much CO2 is being produced by reducing the amount of fossil fuels that are being burned into the atmosphere.
Read more: The Causes of Climate Change
5. No more lights out
If you’ve ever been in a storm severe enough for your power to be knocked out, you understand the importance of having a backup plan. That is precisely how renewable energy is structured, which makes it more reliable. What does this mean exactly?
First of all, renewable energy sources are distributed, that is, widely available over a large geographical area. And this means they are resistant to large disasters wiping out power to one particular region.
In addition to being distributed, renewable energy is also modular, which means it is made up of many turbines or panels, in the case of solar. Therefore, even if some of the equipment in the system is damaged, the rest will typically continue to operate.(4)
In comparison, electricity generated by non-renewable sources can be completely devastated for a particular area in one major disaster.
Note: If you want to be truly protected from outages, be sure to add a battery backup to your solar installation like the Tesla Powerwall.
4. Be a trendsetter
The path to solar is blazing your own path! Not only are you off the grid, you are ahead of the trend of the future.
The renewable energy industry keeps growing every year. According to the IEA, renewable power capacity is set to expand by 50% between 2019 and 2024. This increase is equivalent to the total installed power capacity of the United States today.(5)
And good news for solar, it alone accounts for almost 60% of the expected growth!
3. No more price spikes
Are you tired of rising energy costs and being tied to a fluctuating system? While renewable energy sources require an upfront investment, over time these resources will remain stable. That is, after your equipment is paid for, solar energy is free to run. Depending on your area and logistics, it can either power your entire house or reduce a significant portion of the cost of electricity you use.
And with the 30% Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, the initial investment is even more manageable than ever*. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, also called the ITC, or the Federal Solar Tax Credit, is an incentive available to homeowners who choose to go solar, depending on your individual tax situation**.
Learn more about this: 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit
2. Boost the Economy
Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash
In the current state of the world, it’s clear that we need more jobs. Guess what? Because of the labor involved, the renewable energy industry creates more jobs than the non-renewable industry. Jobs such as maintaining wind farms and installing solar panels.
A recent article in Forbes reported that the renewable energy industry has become a major U.S. employer in the last couple of years.(6) In 2018, clean energy employment grew 3.6% adding 110,000 net new jobs. According to the Solar Jobs Census 2019, solar jobs increased in 29 states during 2018 and grew over 3% nationwide in 2019.(7)
Meanwhile, coal industry jobs fell from 86,000 in 2009 to 50,000 at the start of 2017 and U.S. coal consumption fell 4% in 2018 to its lowest point in 39 years due to accelerating coal plant closures and reduced coal plant utilization.(8)
1. They keep on going… and going…
And the number one reason is they are made from sources that do not deplete. Hence, renewable!
This is important because at some point, finite resources (fossil fuels, etc.) will deplete. Therefore if we can slow the consumption rate with sources that renew each year, we will be creating a world that’s better for future generations.
In the chart of global energy potential you can see how this breaks down:
Image source: Wikimedia.org
As you can see, solar is the clear winner- by far! It truly is the source that keeps giving.
If you’re considering switching to solar, the fastest growing renewable energy source, simply contact us with all your burning questions about going solar.
*Tax and credits or incentives including those provided by federal, state, or local governments may change or end. This can impact the amount of money you might save. Consult a tax professional to understand any tax liability or eligibility for any tax credits that may result from the purchase of your solar system.
**If you have taxable income and own the system, you may qualify for the federal investment tax credit (ITC). It is your responsibility to determine your eligibility and to apply. Consult a qualified tax professional for assistance and details.