November is a month of reflection on the many ways we are Thankful and despite the turmoil in our country and our world, we have a lot to be thankful for. We at ARP Solar truly hope you have the comfort of family, home, and loved ones this holiday season, and maybe also that you have solar panels on your roof.
These are our top reasons to be Thankful for Solar Power
Solar Power Can Help Us Over Come Natural Disasters
When the grid goes down as the result of a natural disaster, as it did in Puerto Rico following hurricane Maria in September, 2017, solar powered microgrids can be quickly deployed to get hospitals, fire stations, and other essential infrastructure up and running, as shown in the picture above.
Solar Can Bring Electricity To Places It Has Never Been
Building new renewable generation facilities can now provide power more cheaply over the long-term than simply operating existing coal and nuclear power plants. So new utility-scale solar is the new form of energy generation worldwide.
But installing solar at utility scale won’t work for remote communities that don’t already have grid power. In that case, solar microgrids, including energy storage for up to 24 hours, can bring light and electricity. Combined with cellular service that allows residents to pre-pay for their energy use, solar microgrids in Kenya, India, and other places allow residents of remote settlements to use electricity and improve their lives.
As the costs of solar equipment and energy storage continue to fall, these microgrids could become the best way to electrify the world.
Solar Panels Add Value
This one hits a little closer to home. Specifically, on your roof.
Numerous studies of what’s known as the “solar home price premium” have shown that homes with solar panels sell for more. And the price increase is almost equal to the amount it costs to put the panels on your roof.
So if you’re thinking of going solar and also thinking of selling your home soon, rest assured that the decision can work for you!
Solar Saves Money and Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
Financial returns are a major incentive for going solar, but money isn’t the only thing that solar panels save. When you install solar, you’re also improving the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why the question “How much can solar panels save?” can be answered two ways: how much money solar can save and how much CO2 it can save (avoid being emitted into the atmosphere).
The Environmental Protection Agency provides a formula to help you calculate how various green practices result in carbon emissions reductions. The below table converts solar energy production into greenhouse gas offsets using the metric converters 7.44 × 10-4 metric tons CO2 / kilowatt-hour of energy produced and the national average for solar panel production ratio, 1.42 kilowatt-hours / watt of power.
Solar Promises a Better Future
There will come a time in the very near future where the costs of solar panels and batteries to store excess electricity will become lower than the costs to simply transmit the energy from traditional sources of power. When that time comes, the only rational economic decision will be to build solar+storage facilities everywhere we need electricity (which is basically, everywhere), and rapidly eliminate the need for traditional coal, gas, and nuclear power plants.