Solar system technology is expanding at a rate like never before. New forms of solar power generation technology are being both created and implemented globally and have been predicted to represent the energy of the future. The International Energy Agency reported that renewable energy sources accounted for two-thirds of all new power added to the global grid in 2016. What’s more, it was the first year in which a renewable energy source, solar power, beat out all other forms of power to be the fast-growing source of new energy in the world. This demonstrates the unprecedented level to which solar system technology is disrupting the status quo of the energy industry.
While there are dozens of financial reasons to switch to solar energy, notwithstanding economic benefits, solar power boasts a free and an unlimited supply of sustainable energy with zero carbon footprint. The US government estimates that the Earth receives about 170,000 terawatts of energy each year, which is more than 10,000 the amount we consume as a human race. If we continue to support industries that innovative technology to harness and store this energy, there may come a day in which we no longer have to pay for our the energy that powers our homes and our industries.
The solar power sector has been thriving for more than a decade across continents. Global installations have risen more than 50 percent a year on average since 2006. Additionally, regional, state and international environmental policies are demanding that we incorporate clean energy into our energy consumption more than ever before. As countries around the world are committing to harnessing more than one-quarter, one-third, even one half of their nation’s energy use from renewables, and solar consistently rank as a top choice for realizing these goals.
As solar continues to spread through the energy market and producers increase production levels, economies of scale have allowed the cost of solar power generation technology to diminish to a shadow of its original production cost. With the initial support from government tax incentives, solar prices were able to compete directly with conventional fuels like natural gas. Today the cost of a solar panel is approximately 227 times cheaper than in 1975. Their increasingly competitive pricing and positioning in the market has allowed the industry to remain a strong competitor in the global energy market even as government financing is tapered. Between 2000-2014, the US solar energy capacity grew by nearly 420 percent and shows very few signs of slowing down.
A strong benefit the solar system technology, both from an investment and an environmental perspective, it’s this energy sources versatility, as it is evolving at both a residential level as well as the industrial level. What’s more, such a system has the potential to reduce a single home’s carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent. The non-residential market also exceeded expectations, with community solar and net energy metering being big drivers in increase solar system technology implementation.
The US currently holds more than 1.3 million solar PV installations with a cumulative capacity of over 40 gigawatts. Furthermore, over 260,000 Americans have employed thanks to this burgeoning industry. As federal and state governments continue to tighten their grip on greenhouse gas emissions, technology will continue to turn towards the solar system technology to meet our energy needs. Continued investment in storage capabilities for this abundant resource will be the next step to make solar power our number one energy of the future.