We’re all aware of the climate crisis, and how much our energy choices affect the world we live in. However, did you know that the sun is one of the major sources of energy that we consume on a daily basis? As countries around the world look for alternative ways to power their homes, industries, and public domain, many are turning to solar energy.
According to the United Nations, over 300 million people currently live in energy poverty, and over 800 million more rely on expensive and polluting fuels to generate electricity. If we want to tackle climate change and create a sustainable future, solar energy could be the answer.
So can solar energy really save you money and transform your life? Let’s take a look.
How Does Solar Work?
The sun provides just about everywhere that we need it, and when you connect the dots between energy and cost, it’s not hard to see how solar can save you money. The sun is free and continuously available, so it never runs out. Moreover, the sun provides all of the energy that we need without the need for additional fuel, and it does so without pollution.
Since we’re directly connected to the source of all energy, it’s only natural that we want to tap into it. Thanks to advances in technology, we now have access to lightweight and portable solar products that make it easy for anyone to generate their own electricity. With no fuel needed to operate, these products transform any home or business into an eco-friendly energy powerhouse. For those in energy poverty, especially in developing countries, solar is an essential part of the answer to ending their energy woes.
Why Should You Consider Going Solar?
Going solar isn’t for everyone, but for those who qualify, the paybacks can be substantial. The UN’s 2018 review of the solar markets states that there are three key benefits to going solar.
- You’ll reduce your carbon footprint
- You’ll reduce your energy bills
- You’ll generate your own electricity
The UN review also highlights how solar energy reduces poverty and improves quality of life. When people are provided with energy, they’re able to afford better living conditions and improve their health. When you add in all of the money that’s saved from cutting out expensive fuel and electricity bills, the total is almost always greater than the initial cost of the system.
How Big is the Solar Market?
The global market for solar energy is set to hit nearly $164 billion in 2022, a gain of 21% from 2021. That’s according to Markets and Markets, a market research firm. The report published in July 2022 predicts a compound annual growth rate of 12% for the next five years.
In 2022 alone, the market value of the solar industry is set to hit $96.9 billion. That’s according to Grand View Research, Inc. So it’s fair to say that the market for solar is growing, and more people are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
How Eco-Friendly is Solar?
Going solar doesn’t mean that you have to give up your car or stop taking showers; it just means that you’re generating your own energy instead of relying on others. This, in turn, has massive ramifications for the world we live in. Consider the fact that energy accounts for about 70% of the total environmental load in China, the world’s major manufacturer of solar products. In a bid to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and decrease their carbon footprint, Chinese businesses and government agencies are focusing on renewable energy, especially solar.
In the past, China’s position as the world’s largest producer of solar products was due to the fact that it used to import a large amount of these products. However, as it’s worked towards reducing its dependency on fossil fuels and increasing its use of renewable energy, this trend has changed, and China’s solar energy sector now accounts for about 70% of the country’s energy consumption.
How Versatile is Solar?
One of the things that makes solar so attractive is that it’s highly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. This adds up to the fact that you’ll save money in almost every situation. Let’s take security as an example. If you have a home security system that requires a battery, you’ll need to replace it periodically. With a solar system, this is no longer necessary. The batteries can be charged up during the day and when needed, they can simply be replaced by a panel connected to the grid.
The Pros and Cons of Going Solar
Now, not all scenarios will be rosy when it comes to going solar. In fact, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration before making this massive decision.
- The environment
- The health & safety of the people you live with
- The state of the sun during your area’s sunny seasons
- Your area’s geography
Let’s take a look at each of these con factors.
Will Going Solar Damage The Environment?
It’s a common misconception that solar power is bad for the environment. As we’ve established, the sun provides us with all of the energy that we need, and if we want to power our homes and businesses this way, the environment will benefit greatly. These days, most solar panels are designed to be eco-friendly and reduce their impact on the planet. They’re also usually made from materials such as polyethylene and polypropylene, which are both fossil fuel-free and recyclable. Moreover, most solar panel manufacturers do their part to decrease their companies’ environmental footprints by purchasing renewable energy sources such as sun power.
Will Going Solar Harm Human Health?
It’s sad to say, but the health of humans is often put at risk in order to protect the environment. If we want to reduce our carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels, we need to explore safer and healthier options for powering our homes and businesses. One of the major benefits of going solar is that it has reduced our dependence on polluting fuels, which have been shown to have dangerous and potentially harmful effects on human health.
Thanks to advancements in nanotechnology, we now have products such as nanoparticles that make it possible to protect humans from the effects of pollution. For example, nanoparticles trapped in a layer of air can filter out harmful particles such as cigarette smoke, dust, pollen, and pollution.
Will Going Solar Affect The State Of The Sun During Your Area’s Sunny Seasons?
This one might be a tricky one to answer. In some areas, the sun is so strong that it poses a genuine threat to the health of people during the peak hours of the day. For this reason, it is generally recommended that you don’t generate your own electricity during this time. However, if this is an area that you know has very strong sunlight, then you can generate electricity during the day and avoid any health risks.
Is Solar Flavour Inevitable In Your Area?
Let’s say that you’ve decided to generate your own electricity using solar energy, but your area is prone to heavy snowfall and blizzards. In this case, you might want to consider moving to a place where the sunniness is more favorable. However, even if you live in a place where the sun is shining, it doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from the use of solar energy. You can install a snowmaker that will provide you with some heat as well as electricity for free.
If you’re reading this and wondering if going solar is the right decision for your home or business, it really depends on where you live and what situation you’re facing. You’ll want to do your research and figure out what’s best for you. That said, solar energy is a great option and if you want to generate your own electricity and become more eco-friendly, then it’s something to consider.