That’s how many joules of energy hit the earth every hour from the sun: 430 quintillion – more than enough to power the entire world for an entire year. It’s an astonishing statistic and gives us a glimpse into the incredible potential of solar energy. While we can’t harness every joule, solar technology is becoming much more efficient. Today’s high-quality panels can exceed 22% efficiency, and we expect that to continue to improve. The future of energy is solar, but what does that mean for you and how can you use solar in your home?
Solar energy is a form of renewable energy created by cells that capture the sun’s radiation and convert it into electricity. This energy is sent to an inverter, where it is turned from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) energy. AC is suitable for residential use.
With fossil fuels, the process of extracting and refining oil and gas is cost-heavy – not to mention detrimental to the environment in terms of drilling, ground erosion, water pollution, and, of course, carbon emissions as it is burned.
Solar, on the other hand, can be installed on a rooftop or the ground easily, and it harnesses a completely renewable, available resource. It is green, and it is clean. Solar technology, too, is advancing. Moore’s Law states that computer processing power doubles every year: we can glean from this that innovation in technology will also increase exponentially over time. And, as it does, the costs exponentially decrease.
Progressive energy solutions, like solar, will continue to grow and evolve; they will be one of, if not the, most significant differentiating factors that separates innovative electric companies.
Solar technology also leverages the potential of distributed generation. This is an approach that utilizes small-scale technology to produce electricity close to the end-users of the power. Unlike traditional power generating stations which are located up to hundreds of miles away, distributed generation uses smaller, more numerous plants to meet the needs of consumers.
This delivers lower-cost electricity with greater reliability and security – factors we must consider as the fossil fuel market is subject to environmental changes (e.g. storms), world events, and politics. Not only does distributed generation provide grid stabilization and resiliency, it also helps us achieve energy independence.
SOLAR AT HOME
Solar is transforming the energy industry – but closer to home, it’s changing how we think about residential power. As the technology involved becomes more sophisticated and efficient, prices are decreasing. In fact, in the past five years, the cost of solar has dropped 23% nationwide and 32% in Indiana. Clean, renewable solar is more accessible than ever and will only become more so.
Solar is a 50-state industry: it works everywhere, not just sun-drenched regions. One hour of noontime sun is equivalent to the total annual US electricity demand. Homeowners anywhere – even the Pacific Northwest and Alaska – can rely on solar to meet or supplement their energy needs and reduce utility costs.
Additionally, just like a kitchen renovation or a major bath overhaul, solar installations are viewed as upgrades. This can increase the value of your home by as much as $15,000 – not a bad return on investment!
Jefferson Electric has been rated as a Top Solar Contractor in the United States for the past three years – and we can’t wait to make it four! If you have questions about solar energy, contact us today; we can move towards a cleaner, greener, and less costly future together.