Solar power helps to slow/stop global warming
Global warming threatens the survival of human society, as well as the survival of countless species. Luckily, decades (or even centuries) of research have led to efficient solar panel systems that create electricity without producing global warming pollution. Solar power is now very clearly one of the most important solutions to the global warming crisis.
Solar power saves society billions or trillions of dollars
Even long before society’s very existence is threatened by global warming, within the coming decades, global warming is projected to cost society trillions of dollars if left unabated. So, even ignoring the very long-term threat of societal suicide, fighting global warming with solar power will likely save society billions or even trillions of dollars.
Solar power saves you money
Probably the biggest advantage of solar energy is immediate electricity bill savings. No matter how small your installation, you begin receiving smaller monthly bills from your local utility company from Day 1. As utility rates increase, clean energy from the sun remains consistently free. Solar is an investment that pays increasingly large dividends with each passing year.
Beyond solar PV panels, it’s worth noting that solar energy can actually save you money in about a dozen other ways as well with proper planning and household design choices.
Solar power provides energy reliability
The rising and setting of the sun is extremely consistent. All across the world, we know exactly when it will rise and set every day of the year. While clouds may be a bit less predictable, we do also have fairly good seasonal and daily projections for the amount of sunlight that will be received in different locations. All in all, this makes solar power an extremely reliable source of energy.
Solar power provides energy security
On top of the above reliability benefit, no one can go and buy the sun or turn sunlight into a monopoly. Combined with the simplicity of solar panels, this also provides the notable solar power advantage of energy security, something the military has pointed out for years, and a major reason why it is also putting a lot of its money into the development and installation of solar power systems.
Solar power provides energy independence
Similar to the energy security boost, solar power provides the great benefit of energy independence. Again, the “fuel” for solar panels cannot be bought or monopolized. It is free for all to use. Once you have solar panels on your roof, you have an essentially independent source of electricity that is all yours. This is important for individuals, but also for cities, counties, provinces, countries, and even companies. Ukraine, in recent years, has saved approximately $3 billion in reduced oil and gas imports from Russia thanks to the solar power plants developed by a single developer.
Solar power creates more jobs than traditional energy companies
As a source of energy, solar power is a job-creating powerhouse. Money invested in solar power creates two to three times more jobs than money invested in coal or natural gas. Here’s a simple chart on that point:
Super Water Efficient
A related key environmental issue of our day is access to clean water. We’re already struggling with this in many places around the globe, but the issue is going to get more and more difficult. One of the well known consequences of global warming is an increasing occurrence and severity of droughts in many regions, such as the US West, Southwest, and Great Plains. There’s even a 50% chance the Colorado River will dry up by 2057.
What you may not know is that coal and nuclear power plants use a ton of water, and natural gas power plants also use a lot of water. Another wonderful piece of information about solar power is that it uses hardly any water at all. A study from the Virginia Water Resources Research Center has found that solar PV uses about 21 times less water than nuclear power (per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced), about 16 times less water than coal power, and about 8 times less water than a combined cycle power plant.
Solar Energy and Higher Property Values
Because solar energy helps you save on your electricity bill, it’s an investment that pays for itself many times over the 40+ year lifetime of your installation.
But the advantages of solar energy extend well beyond electricity bill savings.
Solar energy can also fetch you a much higher asking price when it comes time to sell your home. An average sized installation on a $500,000 property can add $30,000 or more to the retail value of your home – an amount that exceeds the average cost of most residential solar installations, meaning you could not only be reducing or eliminating your electricity bill but also getting 100% of your money back when and if you sell the home. By contrast, most kitchen remodeling projects only deliver returns of 60%.
If you’re going to make home improvements, solar energy is pretty difficult to top. You enjoy lower electricity bills for as long as you remain in your house. And when it comes time to sell, you recoup 100% of your investment thanks to your property’s higher asking price.
Facts about recycling which in-turn, save energy
· Manufacturing recycled paper produces 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution, as well as using 58% less water and 64% less energy than making paper from virgin wood pulp
· 42% of material we throw in our landfill each year is wood or wood products
· 1 edition of the Sunday New York Times consumes about 75,000 trees
· 1 tonne of recycled paper saves 3700 pounds of lumber and 24,000 gallons of water
· Making one tonne of recycled paper uses only about 60% of the energy needed to make a tonne of virgin paper
· Recycling aluminum (the highest theoretical potential for saving energy) saves 95%.
· Recycling glass — energy savings of 33%
· Recycling paper — energy savings of 64%
· Energy savings per tonne of finished plastic bottles is enough to fill a 20-gallon gas tank every week for ten years
· Recycling a glass jar saves enough energy to light a bulb for four hours
· Recycling old corrugated cardboard cuts sulfur dioxide emissions in half and saves 1/4 of the energy used to manufacture it
· By recycling one tonne of paper you save: 17 trees, 6953 gallons of water, 463 gallons of oil, 583 pounds of air pollution
· It takes 95% less energy to produce new aluminum from discarded aluminum pop cans than from raw materials
· Recycling one aluminum can saves the amount of energy to light one 100 watt bulb for 20 hours or run a TV for 3 hours
· Making glass from recycled materials cuts related air pollution 20% and water pollution 50%
· Recycling plastics and aluminum uses only 5% to 10% as much energy as making new plastic or smelting aluminum
· Recycling a tonne of PET containers saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space
· 5 PET bottles yield enough fiber for an XL T-shirt
· Canadians produce approximately 7 million tonnes of organic waste each year
· 2/3 of our household waste can be composted
· 5 billion drink boxes are thrown away each year in North America
· North America has 8% of the world’s population, consumes 1/3 of the world’s resources and produces almost half of the world’s non- organic garbage
· 70% of landfilled waste could be either reused or recycled
· 1 litre of oil can contaminate a million litres of ground water
· In North America, approximately 20% of our paper, plastic, glass and metal goods are currently made from recycled material. Experts believe that 50% could be easily achieved
· Approximately 35% of municipal solid waste is packaging
· In the U.S., 5.6% of all steel, 50% of all paper, 65-70% of all glass, 25-30% of all aluminium, and 23.5% of all plastics produced are used for packaging
· $1 out of every $10 spent on food goes into packaging
How is paying the power company similar to paying rent?
This is what the cost of electricity looked like over the last 10 years.
And this is the cost of solar.
Notice anything here? Prices will go up and down repeatedly with oil depending on the economic turn of events throughout the world. If you have a grid tied or an off-grid solar PV system, this is what your graph will look like for the entire lifetime of your system (40-50 years!)
So rather than paying “rent” (money that you never see again) to the power company, you can create your own power using the sun and solar PV modules to make more sense out of your money.