Solar energy power is gaining in popularity. The sun gives off an incredible amount of energy. In fact, the earth receives around 1,366 watts of direct solar radiation per square meter. We would only need that amount of energy on 366,375 square kilometers to power the entire world. Unfortunately, only about 1% of the population uses this massive energy source to power their lives. Actually 99.99% of solar energy power goes to waste! In the past cost has definitely been a major obstacle for solar energy companies in the production and harnessing of solar energy, but the market is expected to rise 20% to 40% in the next 10 years.
Technology is constantly improving and people are becoming enthralled with saving the planet that they reside on. Currently in America, 43% of our electricity comes from coal. The fact that it is “inexpensive” has kept it popular, but with new ways of harnessing solar energy, clean and effective solar power is doable. Most people were unaware of the price that burning coal has had on the environment but education and persistence have opened the eyes of even the most sceptic. In some areas, solar has reached “grid parity” which means it is as cheap as coal-based electricity. By 2012, we should see grid parity in most areas of the United States. In some areas, as much as 90% of the cost can be offset by rebates and solar energy credits. Monetary cost is important, but environmental cost is serious. We cannot afford to neglect the power of the sun any longer.
Complexity is another deterrent to solar energy power…people are afraid of the unknown. It is easier to go along with the flow, do what has always been done rather than treading on new ground. Today many companies are emerging to help consumers navigate the solar marketplace. Entire websites are devoted to the ins and outs of solar panels; where to purchase them and how to get the most bang for your buck. Government agencies are offering huge incentives and solar panels are adding value to the housing market.
Misinformation has been a real problem too. People have been blinded to the damage that is done with fossil fuel and the constant burning of coal. We have been told that it is okay, normal if you will, to put dangerous toxins in our air. We have been fearful of rainy days and blackouts from a temporary lack of sunshine. We have been told that solar energy is a fad, a rip off, and even a waste of time. As concerned citizens we should be willing to invest in a viable alternative and allow our greatest resource to fill our greatest need.
We do need to be wise when investing in solar energy power. We should do our research and use our brain power. We need to start planning for a toxin free future where the heat and reflection of the sun not only warms our soul, but also our water. We should be a people that know how to benefit from that big beautiful ball of fire that lights our sky.