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More About Solar Energy

Solar is one of the fastest-growing industries in America, employing 120,000 workers and generating an estimated 13 gigawatts (GW) of clean electricity – enough to effectively power 2 million homes. Installed solar capacity continues to grow as the cost of going solar drops. Learn about all the useful applications for solar energy in this blog post.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Creating electricity from sunlight instead of fossil fuels avoids the emission of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants and stimulates the economy.

Environmental

  • 100% pollution-free: Solar power is one of the cleanest sources of energy because it does not emit any pollution when it is produced or consumed, so it can help avoid the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutant emissions associated with conventional electricity generation
  • Renewable: It’s inexhaustible so it will never run out, unlike limited fossil fuel sources
  • Limited land impact: Solar doesn’t require fossil fuel extraction, which damages the land

Economic

  • Energy independence: Producing renewable energy at home supports a homegrown energy source, helping secure America’s energy future
  • Demand creates supply: As more people install solar on their homes and businesses, the greater the demand will be for additional home solar systems and larger-scale solar farms
  • Green job growth: Increased support for renewable energy development creates more employment opportunities in the green job sector, which helps to stimulate our economy
  • Financial return: A solar energy system can instantly reduce your electric bill and provide a long-term fixed energy rate for the life of your system (20-25 years), which means cost savings now and protection against unpredictable electric prices in the future
    • Plus, solar panels can increase a home’s resale value—one study found that solar systems added on average $5.50 per watt to a home’s value above the cost of a comparable, non-solar home1

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1 Source: April 2011 report: “An Analysis of the Effects of Residential Photovoltaic Energy Systems on Home Sales Prices in California” by the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/lbnl-4476e.pdf). The price premium for the average size installation in the study 3.1 kilowatts [kW]) was approximately $17,000.