What Are the Advantages of Solar Energy? 5 Reasons to Invest in Solar Power Now
Considering investing in solar power? Discover the advantages of solar energy every homeowner should know.
Q: I’m thinking about investing in a solar panel system to use for my home. What are the advantages of solar energy?
A: Solar energy has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many businesses and homes utilizing this energy form over conventional methods. Solar energy is created by converting sunlight into electricity, with an estimated 173,000 terawatts of potential solar energy coming to Earth at any given moment. This energy can easily supply a homeowner’s energy needs, especially considering how long solar panels last: about 25 to 30 years. This makes solar energy an excellent long-term investment for homeowners.
Today, solar panels, batteries, and rooftops are more accessible than ever, making it easy to take advantage of the sun’s renewable energy. However, before exclusively going solar, homeowners should thoroughly research and understand solar energy’s pros and cons to ensure it’s suitable for their home—starting with these five advantages of solar energy.
1. Solar power saves money.
One of the top advantages of solar energy is the amount of money homeowners can save on their energy bills. By converting sunlight to solar power in the home, less power is being pulled from the grid, saving money on conventional electricity methods. In other words, solar installation can allow homeowners to become energy-independent without relying on the grid for their power source.
While solar panels may seem like a significant investment, homeowners will earn this back through the money they save on energy bills. As more solar energy is created, the money once used on conventional energy methods will provide homeowners with additional income. The cost of solar panels and batteries has decreased over the past decade, allowing homeowners to adopt affordable solar panels and save money.
As governments look for better alternatives to fossil fuels, incentives to use solar energy continue to increase. Implementing a home system from one of the best solar companies (such as SunPower or ADT Solar) also allows homeowners to receive government rebates, tax breaks, and cash or loan incentives.
2. Solar increases a home’s overall value.
Solar panels have a multitude of benefits that ultimately increase the value of a home. While the actual amount varies, some studies have shown the resale value for installed solar panels is between $4,020 and $5,911 for each kilowatt. As solar energy increasingly becomes a more efficient form of affordable energy, potential homebuyers may be looking for homes that have an installed solar power system.
As a home is less reliant on power from the grid, potential homebuyers know they’ll have less to pay in electric bills and won’t have to worry about the initial investment and installation. In addition, those looking to sell their homes can factor in the price they spent on the solar panel or power system to then add to the home’s selling price. New homeowners can also benefit from future tax incentives as they receive a return on their investment in a solar-powered home.
3. Solar power works virtually anywhere (even in places with relatively low sun).
Some homeowners may believe that if they live in a place with low sun or cloudy weather, they won’t reap the benefits of solar energy. While it’s true that inclement weather can hinder solar power’s efficiency, the power can be stored through solar batteries and used during times with less sun. Additionally, it’s important to note that even cloudy days or shaded areas can obtain some sunlight to be converted to electricity.
Modern solar panels can work with less sunlight to accomplish their objectives. If the solar cells of a solar panel are covered over 50 percent, the solar panel’s effectiveness is cut in half, but the energy production doesn’t completely cease. Today’s solar panels even have shade-tolerant solar cells that can help with energy creation when inclement weather arises.
4. Solar energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
As climate change continues to affect the planet negatively, it’s crucial to find ways to reduce carbon footprints. Solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source that doesn’t emit harmful pollutants that end up in the atmosphere and water supply. While fossil fuels emit high levels of greenhouse gases, solar energy helps lower the carbon footprint by creating clean energy in their place.
Solar panels are environmentally-friendly products that ultimately help lower the environmental damage of the planet. For example, a typical home in the United States uses up to 14,920 pounds of carbon dioxide every year. But if a homeowner installed solar panels as an alternative, their home’s emissions would decrease by 3,000 pounds.
5. Solar energy systems are low-maintenance.
As more companies invest in solar panel installation and technology, installing a solar energy system in a home is pretty simple. Once a solar panel is installed, little maintenance is needed over the years—and homeowners don’t have to readjust or check the system each week. While it is essential to keep the solar panel clean, intermittent cleaning should only be done a few times a year, at most.
Many solar panels also come with extended warranties if something goes wrong; however, it is next to impossible to cause extensive damage to solar panels. Additionally, the panel’s inverter will only need to be changed every five to ten years, along with general cable maintenance. Compared to wind turbines, solar energy systems also produce little to no sound, as they don’t have any moving parts or gear blades in need of constant care. And how long do solar panels last? You’ll get about 25 to 30 years from your panels.
If you’re interested in installing solar panels, call a professional for a consultation.
A professional solar panel or solar energy system expert will be able to answer specific questions on the pros and cons of obtaining solar power for a home. They can help determine whether or not solar panels can be installed in the home and if it will be a good long-term investment depending on the home’s location. Deciding to install a solar power system can be a big decision, and having a professional to serve as a guide through the process can be massively beneficial.