The Long Term Impact of Solar Power

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Solar energy has been around for quite some time. The first solar panels hit the commercial market as early as the 1960s, and were in development long before then. But only lately has this form of alternate energy started to perk up the ears of a greater number of individuals and organizations. The long-term role of solar power as an alternate energy source has recently become a much more popular topic of discussion as we begin to consider its impact on the future of energy in the United States. As an efficient, affordable, unlimited resource with an eco-friendly impact, solar is set to take the nation by storm.

Solar power can slowly replace fossil fuels like coal and oil with a supply that is both economical and abundant.  Lasting up to 25 years, solar panels provide ample electricity without the associated pollution and contribution to climate change. As a clean energy source, this power does not contribute to global warming, and can help conscientious consumers effortlessly (and affordably) lower their carbon footprint.

As it grows in popularity, solar power has begun to overshadow wind power as one of the most exciting new sources of renewable energy in the United States. Even though solar only accounts for less than half a percent of all power in the United States today, this number is quickly growing. As worldwide solar panel installations rise by up to fifty percent each year, the solar power industry has begun to demonstrate its true potential and has given government, business owners, investors, and consumers something to talk about.

One aspect of solar power that is most enticing as it continues to permeate the market is its price. Installation can be expensive initially, but a solar investment pays off in the long run. Consumers today pay a premium for conventional electric power, and with solar panel installations increasing, reliance on costly utilities is quickly diminishing. A new influx of solar companies has begun hitting the consumer market in record numbers with more affordable installations, better cost-savings projections, government incentives, and general support of residential solar systems.

As solar energy sources have been under concerted exploration and development in recent decades, efficiency and form have struck a balance that experts believe can be a solid foundation moving forward. This has allowed solar energy to transfer from the evolutionary phase to the implementation phase, and the industry can now quickly scale to meet the needs of an every-growing consumer market. As the cost of solar photovoltaic systems sharply decline, the installation rate conversely rises.

Along with existing structures, solar power is slowly creeping into the new construction arena as builders take advantage of more affordable implementation and capitalize on the enticement it provides to prospective buyers.

Both big businesses such as Google, and small crowdsourced outfits, are investing in and developing innovations and new projects to harness the unlimited power of solar energy. This new interest by investors is kickstarting a new era of solar energy, broadening the market, and bringing innovations to the forefront. Investors have taken notice of this new attention, and are beginning to aim at solar power as a lucrative and long-lasting target.

Interests are also piquing in big box stores with a large carbon footprint and a good deal of physical overhead. Rooftop solar systems can match and even beat some utility power prices, and large corporations are slowly beginning to take advantage of the cost savings. Because solar power is well-known to be a clean, environmentally friendly energy, businesses who harness solar power are more likely to elicit a positive consumer response—just one more reason to go solar. Solar power is also a great alternative in remote areas where access to electricity is limited, making it ideal for military and other field work.

As time progresses, new solar installations will be giving conventional utilities a run for their money, leaving the utility industry in the dust. Solar power is a much different animal when it comes to the business relationship between provider and consumer. Consumers of conventional utilities can stop payment at any time, and sever the relationship to the service provider. Solar panels, on the other hand, often bind seller and buyer together for up to two decades and more. This offers solar companies a unique opportunity to piggyback additional services onto an already sustainable consumer relationship. Those companies that can combine services and depend on long-term customer relationships will grow, and consumers will be free to select from a range of providers with ancillary beneficial offerings, rather than a central utility company.

The future application of solar energy remains incredibly bright. The most recent development in the industry, solar windows, can be expected to soon become commonplace. Solar windows have the groundbreaking potential to make every home and high-rise into an energy-generating machine. Solar power releases individuals from reliance on fossil fuels, and offers a sustainable, affordable, and greener solution. As individuals, businesses, and builders adopt solar energy and take advantage of government incentives, investors will also continue to turn their focus towards the sun. In return, the budding market will continue to thrive.

Solar energy provides consumers with a broader number of service providers to choose from, a cleaner and more efficient solution, and a long-lasting business relationship. Businesses, individuals, and investors have begun to enthusiastically back solar power, and in the United States the demand for renewable, alternate energy sources will do nothing but skyrocket as we look towards the sky to continually learn how to better harness the sun.  

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Sam Alkass is a firm believer in solar power and its valuable impact on the future of our planet. Sam helps others generate their own clean, green energy while minimizing environmental pollution. For more solar news and tips, follow his Facebook.