When we talk about the future of energy, we often imagine large machines capable of producing extraordinary amounts of power. While these machines are fascinating, they’re also a little far-fetched. Luckily, the day-to-day practice of generating solar energy is a lot more accessible. With a little know-how, anyone can generate their own clean energy supply. Moreover, the technology is progressing at such a rapid pace that soon, everyone will be able to participate.
How Does Solar Energy Work?
While there are many different kinds of solar energy technologies, they all follow the same basic principles. To put it simply, solar energy is natural light converted into electrical energy.
In the past, we’ve been reliant on fossil fuels for energy. However, climate change and pollution concerns have made us turn away from them. This has driven down the cost of solar energy so profoundly that now, it’s more affordable than many traditional options. For example, according to the Energy and Materials Institute, the cost of solar photovoltaic systems has decreased by 66% since 2010.
The cost of electricity from an ordinary garden hose is about the same as the cost of electricity from fossil fuels. This is largely because fossil fuels are the most popular and efficient source of energy. As a result, solar energy has become the go-to solution for those seeking a cleaner, more sustainable energy source.
The Growth Of Solar Energy
Over the past 10 years, the demand for clean and sustainable energy sources has increased. This trend has pushed down the price of solar energy. In fact, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the cost of solar energy has decreased by 66% globally since 2010.
This is largely due to the fact that in the past, the technology to manufacture solar energy machines was considered expensive and, therefore, was reserved for large corporations. Thanks to significant cost reductions and new government incentives, more and more people are able to participate.
For example, in 2015 alone, the United States bought more than $16 billion of solar panels. That’s a lot of rooftop solar panels, which are the most common and basic form of solar energy generation. Moreover, the industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23% between 2018 and 2025.
The Rise Of Home Energy
Another way in which the cost of solar energy has decreased is due to the development of home energy systems. These systems take the form of a solar panel installed on the roof of your home. As a result of their simplicity and effectiveness, home energies have grown in popularity. In fact, according to the International Data Corporation, 45.4 million U.S. homes were using some form of home energy in 2017.
These systems are usually coupled with a power-storage device, such as a battery. The power-storage device allows you to generate electricity when the sun is shining, and then use that electricity when you need it. Because they’re so effective and simple to use, home energies have largely replaced other energy sources in residential environments. This is why more and more people are turning to solar power.
The benefits of using solar energy in this way are numerous. Not only does it provide a sustainable and clean energy source, but it also produces no emissions. Moreover, you don’t need to be tied to the mains electricity supply, as you are with traditional energy sources. This reduces your exposure to potential electricity outages, as well as the costs associated with them.
One of the key factors that make solar energy so competitive is its affordability. Thanks to the falling costs and increasing adoption rates, more and more people are able to participate in the energy generation process. This has made a world of difference, as the UN reports that currently, 7.9 billion people live on less than $2 a day. These people represent an untapped market for solar energy.
If you’re looking for a cheap and sustainable energy option, then solar energy is the way to go. Moreover, as more and more people seek greener energy sources, the cost of solar energy is expected to continue falling.
The bottom line is that cheaper and more affordable solar energy equals more people being able to participate. This, in turn, leads to greater adoption rates and, ultimately, sustainable energy generation.