The Sun, the centrepiece of our solar system, provides us with nearly all of the energy we need to keep our world functioning. It shines on us daily, warming our planet and keeping all living things alive. It’s an energy source that never runs out, and one that we can readily harness for our own use.
The United States of America are located on the northern hemisphere, whose winter months see the Sun disappear behind huge snow banks and icy landscapes. This means that the majority of the country’s population has less exposure to the harmful rays of the sun compared with people in other parts of the world, especially those in the southern hemisphere. As a result, the United States of America are advantaged when it comes to using solar energy.
These geographic and climatic factors help to create a perfect environment for businesses that specialise in solar power. Many large companies have established themselves in this field, creating a vast array of solar-related products and services that can benefit individuals and businesses alike. Companies like SolarCity offer photovoltaic solar power systems that can provide electricity to hundreds of homes and let homeowners reap the rewards of powering their homes and businesses with renewable energy. These systems require minimal maintenance and can generate profits for their owners.
Positive Mental Attitude
In addition to taking advantage of the country’s ideal geographic location, Americans can also take comfort in the fact that they have a generally positive attitude towards solar power and renewable energy in general. Fifty-three percent of Americans are now identifying as ‘environmentalists’, with a further 20% reporting that they’re ‘solar advocates’. This trend is clearly indicative of a rise in awareness about sustainable energy production and use, and the associated economic, social and environmental benefits.
In a similar vein, 55% of respondents to a recent survey said that they would purchase green household products and 42% would recommend green over traditional products. In addition, 35% would buy a hybrid car, and 28% would consider a renewable energy source for their home.
The rise of environmentalism and sustainability in America is clearly positive, and will benefit the deployment of sustainable energy sources.
A Wealth Of Opportunity
The United States of America are also a nation of opportunity, and those who live there can take advantage of the fact that the country seemingly offers something suitably unique for everyone. The solar power industry is a prime example of this, providing job opportunities for those with a background in science and technology, while also letting individuals pursue their passion for solar power. As well as the economic benefits that come with a solar-related job, individuals can also take pride in the fact that they’re contributing to a cleaner environment and are moving towards more sustainable energy sources.
According to a report by the Solar Foundation, between 2010 and 2015 alone, the number of Americans working in the solar resource sector grew by 72%, from 18,600 to 30,400. As well as offering a steady job in an industry that continues to grow, individuals can also take comfort in the fact that the sector is extremely competitive, with demand for solar-related products and services outstripping supply. The report also forecasts that this trend will continue, with a predicted 36% growth in the number of employed Americans in the solar sector between now and 2024.
Extending Power Outages
One of the major disadvantages of using conventional energy sources is the fact that when the supply is disrupted, there’s usually no immediate replacement. This can result in extended periods of time without electricity, which has potentially serious ramifications for our modern way of living. Power outages also have an effect on the environment, as they often lead to increased energy consumption and the need for more devices to be used for emergency and backup power.
However, with solar power, this is less of a problem. The Sun will never stop shining and, as a result, can provide us with energy 24/7. This means that it can constantly sustain our current way of living, with the potential to greatly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and the associated environmental damage that they cause. In some cases, solar power can even extend the period of time that power outages last, as was the case in Hawaii in 2018, where the state’s entire power grid went down for nearly 7 hours because of a series of powerful solar flares.
Sustainable energy sources like solar power are ideally suited to countries and areas that are prone to power outages. They don’t rely on the weather and can provide electricity when needed, leading to fewer extended power outages and less impact on the environment. They’re also a great way for countries to become less reliant on fossil fuels and, as a result, reduce the effect that these greenhouse gases have on global warming. The development and use of renewable energy sources will be a big step forward for all those that adopt and benefit from it.