In the “old days”, solar energy was a niche technology for the exclusive use of the hippies and “tree huggers.” Back then, generating enough watts from solar panels to power a home or office was a tall order for even the most elaborate of installations. So solar energy’s use was limited to niche applications like satellites and calculators.
But the concept of clean energy generated by the sun’s rays, free for the taking, persisted. Now after years spent as a laughable alternative to the evidently environmentally destructive practice of fossil fuel burning, solar energy is growing up.
Solar power is rapidly blossoming into a potential competitor for even the mainstream energy providers. This has taken place for a number of reasons:
- Continued improvement in solar energy technology;
- Ongoing need, illustrated by Climate Change, to replace burning of coal and oil;
- Government funded tax credits and other incentives to facilitate the renewable energy businesses;
- Private investment;
- Increased consumer awareness.
Continued Improvement in Solar Energy Technology
It is so appropriate that the land of the rising sun is at the very forefront of solar energy innovation. If their full potential is realized, some processes that are currently under development will exploit the beneficent rays of sun more effectively…In ways that could revolutionize the whole field. Japan’s scientists are leading the charge by developing floating solar power generating plants and supercharging solar panels with superconductors to send solar energy into hyper drive.
Promising new solar cell designs, employing the superconductor called graphene, are being groomed in Japanese laboratories to conduct electricity with zero resistance. That would send solar energy’s collective efficiency through the roof. Now, scientists are even looking at methods to endow those same graphemes solar cells with features that will enable them to, in addition to harnessing the sun’s energy, also collect it from raindrops!
Ongoing Need, Illustrated by Climate Change, to Replace Burning of Coal and Oil
The near universal acceptance of the theory that planet earth is in the throws of Climate Change has brought about world conferences to address the issues surrounding it. But talk is cheap and little real progress has been made in actually reversing this potentially devastating trend.
Indeed, almost all global initiatives and pundits have made concrete to date is increasing the carbon footprint on the planet. Specifically, they burned even more fossil fuels by attending many conferences on the matter throughout the globe.
So unless more is done and quickly, as the classic old Hollywood film intoned, “fasten your seatbelt, because we are in for a bumpy ride.”
Government Funded Tax Credits and Other Incentives Facilitate Renewable Energy Businesses
Uncle Sam offers a renewed section 25d tax credit for new residential solar energy systems or a section 48tax credit for a commercial installation of up to thirty percent. Additional state rebates may also be available on certain solar panels or other solar energy systems related equipment. Hit your favorite search engine to get the scoop on state and federal tax credits on solar panels.
All that a solar energy system for your home or office can do for you:
- Reduce your home energy bill, thus preserving the health of your pocketbook and that of our fragile planet
- Get state and federal tax breaks on a solar panel installation
- Gain peace of mind knowing that you are doing your part in minimizing your carbon footprint.
To encourage private investors to help fuel the fight against global warming and get the nation converted to sustainable energy sources, the Department of Energy has a loan guaranty program. The program has already helped to bankroll major solar energy plants in the Southwest.
Private investors can employ the valuable financial tool to spur their solar energy projects to new heights. Or they can eschew government backing and run with the venture capitalists instead. Solar energy is so big now that some of those VCs specialize in nothing but solar related investments.
As a leading contributor to Climate Change, it is up to the American consumer to pick up a solar panel and run with it. The goal line is a bright and sustainable energy future obtained from educated consumers investing in Green Technology such as solar panel installations.
The beauty of it is that the economy of reduced home and office heating and cooling bills –From selling back power to the grid– gained from solar energy installations provides a solid economic incentive to adopt renewable energy and to help keep Global Warming in check.
It is reassuring to note that the power of the consumer can go a long way towards healing the planet and reducing the threat of Climate Change. By simply installing solar panels, John and Jane Doe can become a part of the solar solution.