As of 2022, the global environmental crisis has reached new heights. Since 1880, the global temperature has risen around 0.32°F (0.18°C) per decade, which is twice the rate as it would rise, naturally. Over time, the extra heat has altered regional temperatures, making them fluctuate to the extremes.
More warmth means the ice caps are melting, contributing to rising sea levels and coastal flooding. The climate changes are severely impacting numerous plants and animals, causing them to lose their habitat range. Worse still, scientists predict the problems are only going to grow in the coming years as the temperature continues to rise.
To combat this issue, environmentalists have been campaigning for greener policies across all industries to reduce the world’s carbon footprint. Likewise, they’ve appealed to the general public to make more eco-friendly choices to cut back on greenhouse emissions. They claim that the most effective way to do this is to switch to solar power.
But is this truly the case? Is solar as beneficial as they claim? What is the government saying about solar energy? Keep reading to find out everything about this most precious resource!
Solar Energy 101
It’s a basic fact that the world needs electricity to operate. And for most of the modern industrial era, we have relied on fossil fuels to generate it. As a result, industries burn coal, natural gas, and petroleum to generate an average of 4,116 billion kWh of electricity each year.
Next to fossil fuels, other ways of creating power include nuclear power plants and renewable energy sources, such as wind, hydro, and solar power. Solar power, in particular, is a rising star in the energy industry because of its efficiency, ease of access, and eco-friendliness.
Essentially, solar power is the energy we harness from the sun by converting electromagnetic radiation to direct current. This is done using solar technology such as solar panels. The panels contain a layer of silicone, teeming with photovoltaic cells that get charged when they absorb sunlight. The charge knocks electrons loose from their bonds and the flow by the internal electric field of the cells.
This process produces a direct current, which then gets transformed into an alternating current via an inverter. On average, a domestic solar system can generate 200-400 kWh. This is more than enough electricity to power an average American home.
What’s more, the panels can work in all weather conditions. The sun never completely disappears from the sky, even when it’s overcast. Therefore, the panels are the ideal investment if you live in an area with bad weather but still want to reduce your carbon footprint.
The Government’s Stance on Solar
While environmentalists praise solar as the best renewable energy source available, it has its fair share of detractors. Solar skeptics claim the eco-friendly label is a scam and that solar panels aren’t all they’re cracked to be.
However, they are just a vocal minority. Most people, including the government, agree that solar energy is the best solution we have for fighting climate change. For one, solar panels don’t create greenhouse emissions when they generate electricity. Since you can discreetly outfit them to your roof, they don’t interfere with local flora and fauna when running. Lastly, they don’t produce any toxic chemicals that could pollute landfills and, most importantly, water sources.
In light of all these benefits, the government has implemented various solar programs to incentivize the general public to invest in a system of their own. Some of these include:
- Federal Investment Tax Credit: A program that offers anyone interested in getting panels a tax credit of between 22% to 26% on all systems installed from 2020 to 2023.
- The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System: This program guarantees that you will also receive a tax reduction on any income you may get via your solar-powered home.
- The Public Utilities Regulatory Act: In case you decide to create a small power production facility using your system, the government can mandate that the utilities purchase energy from you at stellar prices.
So, regardless of what you plan on using the panels for, you’re guaranteed to get some major benefits out of your system!
To Sum Up
Environmentalists aren’t the only ones praising solar power. The government is promoting it too! There are currently numerous benefits for homeowners considering switching to solar, including tax credits and reduced energy bills. So, if you were hesitant about going solar, rest assured. This renewable energy is not only good for the environment but for your wallet too!