Why is Solar Power becoming more popular?
Solar power refers to the generation of usable energy using sunlight. The technology has become much more accessible today, compared to a few years ago and it has become much more popular and accepted among the public as a means of generating energy. Solar power as a substitute for fossil fuel has been under consideration by the scientific community as well as the political community for several decades now, with significant pushback from influential companies with interests in fossil fuels. Since solar power relies on sunlight, which is available for approximately half the day, on average, it poses a problem regarding the availability of power when the sunlight isn’t. However, with the improvements in solar cell technology, solar power generation has become a serious contender for the future of energy generation along with other sustainable sources such as nuclear, wind, geothermal, and hydropower. This article discusses several reasons why solar is worth considering as an alternative or primary energy source for residential buildings.
The cost of solar is decreasing as technology improves, and the marginal cost for a unit of energy is extremely low. Although the initial investment is still substantial, the spread of solar has allowed various companies to enter the market and compete which results in increased accessibility for consumers. After the equipment is setup and the system starts functioning, subsequent power generation is virtually free, which allows for the investment to pay off in a few years, through the savings made from not having to pay electricity bills
The world has steadily been moving towards sustainable choices, albeit slowly, due to the climate crisis. Solar power, as a renewable energy source, is one of the most sustainable energy sources, as it emits nothing to the environment during the generation of energy. The only environmental impact it has is during the production of the batteries it uses for energy storage which pales in comparison to the massive environmental pollution that occurs due to the combustion of fossil fuels. Moreover, the use of solar energy is a gateway to other sustainable choices such as electric vehicles, which become extremely inexpensive when charged through a solar powered terminal.
Some governments have responded to the climate threat by promoting sustainable choices. The fossil fuel industry continues to be heavily subsidised by the government lending it the illusion of being the cheapest energy source. With a fraction of this support, governments have been able to increase the use of solar power by offering tax rebates on solar investment, systems where the generated energy is fed back into the national grid for a reduction in the electricity bill or credit have gone a long way in the widespread acceptance of solar power, although there is still a long way to go. This also allows the creation of a power grid where the production is decentralised, with residential buildings easing the load off the national grid and eventually replacing it entirely as they begin to produce excess power.