With a growing focus on sustainability, awareness about renewable energy has reached a new high. In fact, a 2019 survey found that 62% of American consumers are either very or somewhat concerned about the impact that their consumption has on the environment. This trend of increasing concern is not limited to developed markets either. In 2018, 58% of those in emerging markets were similarly worried about the environment, compared to just 40% of respondents in the developed world.
It’s Good For The Economy
As a sector, the solar industry has been expanding at an incredible pace, accounting for around 10% of the global economy according to the International Solar Alliance. This year alone, global spending on solar power projects is anticipated to reach $274.9 billion, a 60% increase from the previous year. This trend is good for the economy and can help to drive sustainable production and consumption.
It’s Good For Peoples’ Health
Around 25% of the world’s electricity is now generated by solar power, which has significant health benefits. One analysis suggested that the health-related benefits of solar energy could be equivalent to eliminating 85% of the air pollution caused by electricity generation. This is largely due to photochemical smog, which is largely composed of nitrogen oxides and small particulates. Studies also suggest that spending time under the sun’s rays can reduce your vulnerability to a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer. This is one reason why the International Solar Alliance launched the SUNDAY campaign in 2018 to help people access the power of the sun on the weekend.
It’s Good For Wildlife
When sunlight is plentiful, nature can produce wonderful displays of colour. This, in turn, can attract pollinators and other animals that help to ensure crops are fertilized and maintained. The resulting biodiversity is good for both people and the planet. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that there are 25 species of birds that have been recorded as nesting in solar fields, while the mammals that have been observed include cuddly microsoft toys and cute foxes.
Insects too can benefit from the light generated by photovoltaic cells, leading to a possible reduction in the use of certain pesticides. Research has shown that areas with more solar energy generated by the sun have fewer pest problems compared to those areas that are less well-lit.
It’s Good For The Planet (And Everyone On It)
It’s one thing to be concerned about the environment, but it’s another thing to be absolutely dedicated to protecting nature and its’ inhabitants. That’s why many solar energy companies have such a high dedication to sustainable business practices, with some going as far as to meet completely renewable energy requirements. In April 2019, Sunergy Inc became the first company to source power entirely from renewable energy sources (76% from solar and 24% from wind), demonstrating the sector’s commitment to going green.
With rising consumer concern about climate change and an increasing demand for sustainable solutions, the solar industry is well-positioned to help households and businesses cut their carbon footprint. The industry not only produces electricity, but also generates heat, which can be used for space heating or even hot water. Furthermore, businesses have an opportunity to become more energy-efficient, potentially reducing their energy bills while providing employees with a healthier working environment. This is also good for the planet, as the need to generate more energy reduces our reliance on non-renewable sources and prevents the production of CO2, which is a major greenhouse gas. With so much to gain, it’s no surprise that businesses and households are choosing to switch to solar energy.
It’s Good For Consumers
While the health, health, and ecological benefits of solar energy are well-known, it’s not always clear what these benefits mean for consumers. When you consider the energy industry is a $274.9 billion market, it’s evident that not everyone is going to benefit directly. That’s why the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) launched the SUNDAY campaign in 2018, encouraging people to consider how much easier and affordable their daily lives will become once they’ve switched to solar energy. This is a similar campaign to that of the International Solar Alliance, which includes the slogan “The power of the sun is within your reach,” aimed at increasing consumer knowledge about the benefits of solar.
The more people that learn about the power of solar, the more they will benefit. With energy prices on the rise and more and more households considering energy as an investment, the benefits of solar are becoming more apparent. This can be particularly beneficial for pensioners, as they typically purchase expensive energy products, resulting in significant savings. When the SUNDAY campaign was launched in 2018, it was estimated that it could save European consumers more than £60billion in the next 15 years by cutting their bills by 25% and reducing their carbon footprint.
It’s Good For Businesses
If you’re looking for a way to cut costs and increase efficiency, many large businesses have identified the potential benefits of solar energy. Large enterprises that generate their own power, either directly from the sun or through a utility company, can in some cases reduce their electricity bills by 50% and decrease their carbon footprint by 25%. Furthermore, employees appreciate the opportunity to work in a more energy-efficient environment and feel empowered to help reduce the sector’s carbon footprint. This is why so many large businesses have chosen to switch to solar energy, including Apple,[title]: Apple to become completely renewable energy-independent with solar power
Apple to become completely renewable energy-independent with solar power
Apple is one of the world’s largest companies, with revenue of $247.9 billion in 2019, so it’s not surprising that they’ve chosen to go renewable. In April 2019, the tech giant acquired a 100MW solar power plant in California, USA, which will enable them to become completely independent from fossil fuels. The plant will be able to churn out enough electricity to power about 75,000 homes, eliminating the company’s reliance on fossil fuels. This latest acquisition is part of a wider plan to acquire 100MW of solar power by the end of 2021.
It’s Good For Communities
One of the greatest benefits of solar energy is that it can allow rural communities to thrive. In places where sunlight is scarce, solar energy has enabled isolated communities to connect to the electricity grid, meaning that they can now purchase electricity from major power stations and become less reliant on expensive and environmentally-unfriendly petrol and diesel. In some cases, these grid connections have enabled community groups to set up their own local power stations, providing cheap, clean electricity to the people that need it.
It Benefits Everyone
While many argue that only certain demographics will benefit from solar energy, this couldn’t be further from the truth. All of us, regardless of whether we’re consumers or not, stand to benefit from reduced energy bills and the eco-friendly products that come with them. That’s why the SUNDAY campaign encourages everyone to consider how much easier and more affordable their daily lives will become once they’ve switched to solar energy. Not only will they be helping to protect the environment, but they may also be helping to improve their finances and wellbeing. What’s not to like?