The recent environmental crisis has brought solar energy into the spotlight. Environmentalists everywhere are promoting it as the most accessible, renewable energy source currently available. What’s more, they’re claiming it’s one of the most powerful tools we have to reverse global warming and cut back on pollution.
However, these claims aren’t going unchallenged. On the other side of the energy debate, skeptics claim solar energy isn’t all it’s portrayed to be. Installing it is way too expensive for the average person, and it doesn’t work nearly as well as traditional energy sources.
All this conflicting information is likely to leave you confused about whether you should invest in some panels. If that’s the case, keep reading to discover the main benefits of going solar in 2022 and why this energy source is even better than its proponents claim.
Solar Energy 101
So many people get caught up discussing the pros and cons of solar energy that they forget to define what solar energy even is. In simple terms, solar power is the energy harnessed from the sun and converted into either electrical or thermal energy.
This is most commonly done using solar architecture, which is a piece of equipment with a photovoltaic surface. Photovoltaics, or PV for short, are semiconductive materials that react when they absorb sunlight. When the sun’s photons strike the PV surface, they knock the electrons from their atomic bonds, forcing them to generate an electrical current.
The process is simple and doesn’t require any additional resources. Neither does it produce toxic waste the way traditional energy sources do. Though there is a common belief that solar panels stop working when in the shade, this isn’t the case.
The sun never completely disappears from the sky, even when it’s overcast outside. Therefore, solar panels can generate energy no matter the time of year or weather conditions. Thus, they’re classed as one of the most accessible energy sources everyone can benefit from.
Main Benefits of Going Solar in 2022
Proponents of solar energy always mention how environmentally friendly it is. However, is that the only advantage this energy source has? The answer is a resounding no. Besides being green, solar power has so many perks, especially in 2022.
It’s Cheaper Than Ever
The first thing solar skeptics like to bring up is how expensive it is to install. And this is true to some extent. Depending on the size of the unit, you’re looking at an upfront investment of between $3,500‒$35,000. However, just a decade ago, even the most basic set of panels cost a whopping $50,000 to acquire. So the price of solar has gone down dramatically, and in 2022 it’s more affordable than ever!
It Helps Reduce Your Energy Bills
The average American family spends over $1,500 on energy bills alone. That number is likely to increase in the next few years as the world’s supply of non-renewable energy sources dwindles. However, when you switch to solar power, you lock energy costs at a constant rate. That means you can save anywhere between $9,000 to a whopping $25,000 over 20 years!
It Increases the Value of Your Property
The current climate crisis has made the general public much more eco-conscious. Consequently, there is an extremely high demand for solar-powered properties on the housing market. That means your solar panels can end up increasing the value of your home by 4.1%. Given how volatile real-estate prices are in the current year, this is highly profitable.
It Gives You Energy Independence
Another lesser-known downside of traditional energy sources is that you’re dependent on a power grid to get your electricity. So in cases of bad weather or an unexpected outage, you’re left in the dark. However, if you switch to solar energy, you’re creating your own electricity. In short, you no longer have to rely on external sources to power up your home.
If you’re entertaining the idea of solar panels, rest assured. There are many benefits of going solar, especially in the current year. It helps you save money while increasing the value of your property and giving you total energy independence. To be fair, it does require an upfront investment. However, the satisfaction you’ll get from knowing you’re using the most eco-friendly energy available doesn’t have a price tag.