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5 Reasons to be thankful for solar power

It’s Thanksgiving, 2017, and despite the turmoil in our country and our world, we have a lot to be thankful for. We at Solar Power Rocks sincerely hope you have the comfort of family, home, and loved ones this holiday season, and maybe also that you have solar panels on your roof.

If you don’t quite have that last part covered, yet, perhaps it’s time to compare quotes for a solar installation for your home.

Anyway, here’s why we’re thankful for solar this year:

1. Solar can help us overcome disasters

Tesla microgrid at Puerto Rico Children's Hospital

A solar micro-grid from Tesla got the San Juan Children’s Hospital up and running shortly after Hurricane Maria

When the grid goes down as the result of a natural disaster, as it did in Puerto Rico following hurricane Maria in September, 2017, solar powered microgrids can be quickly deployed to get hospitals, fire stations, and other essential infrastructure up and running, as shown in the picture above.

But it doesn’t take a huge parking lot filled with panels to help people in need. When the power’s out, any light in the darkness is helpful, which is why donations of solar-powered lamps were so vital to help the people of Puerto Rico after the hurricane. People like planetary scientist Antonio Paris helped make it happen:

2. Solar can bring electricity to where it’s never been

A solar microgrid station in Kenya

A SteamaCo solar microgrid station in Kenya

According to Bill McKibben, writing for the New Yorker, “there are about as many people living without electricity today as there were when Thomas Edison lit his first light bulb.” But that’s about to change.

Building new renewable generation facilities can now provide power more cheaply over the long-term than simply operating existing coal and nuclear power plants, according to the financial analysis firm Lazard, which prepares an annual report about the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE). So new utility-scale solar is the de facto form of new energy generation worldwide.

But installing solar at utility scale won’t work for remote communities that don’t already have grid power. In that case, solar microgrids, including energy storage for up to 24 hours, can bring light and electricity. Combined with cellular service that allows residents to pre-pay for their energy use, solar microgrids in Kenya, India, and other places allow residents of remote settlements to use electricity and improve their lives.

As the costs of solar equipment and energy storage continue to fall, these microgrids may become the best way to electrify the world.

3. Solar panels add value to your home

Solar homes sell for more

This one hits a little closer to home. Specifically, on your roof.

Numerous studies of what’s known as the “solar home price premium” have shown that homes with solar panels sell for more. And the price increase is almost equal to the amount it costs to put the panels on your roof.

So if you’re thinking of going solar and also thinking of selling your home soon, rest assured that the decision can work for you! If you’d like to see how you can benefit, get in touch with our solar experts today.

4. Solar panels save you money over the long-term

comparing the financial returns of solar in Maryland

Going solar in Maryland (and about 20 other states) can mean big savings over time

One of the main points of our site is to educate homeowners about the long-term financial benefits of going solar. And you don’t need thousands of dollars to do it, either. As you can see in the chart above, taking a loan, paying cash, and even paying for each kilowatt-hour under a solar power purchase agreement can lead to big savings over time.

And solar makes sense in more than a few places with big solar subsidies or high electricity costs. In fact, an investment in solar beats the stock market in about half the United States!

Click the image to see more:

5. Solar power promises a better future

Solar's Gutenberg Moment: 100% of energy generation within 13 years

There will come a time in the very near future where the costs of solar panels and batteries to store excess electricity will become lower than the costs to simply transmit the energy from traditional sources of power. When that time comes, the only rational economic decision will be to build solar+storage facilities everywhere we need electricity (which is basically, everywhere), and rapidly eliminate the need for traditional coal, gas, and nuclear power plants.

With decades of generation capability at that low cost, there will be no need to increase electricity rates over time, as the current utility companies have done at a rate of 3.5% per year for the past 50 years. We’re on the cusp of that now, with solar and batteries nearing the point when the technology will take off like Gutenberg’s printing press.

Last modified: June 4, 2019

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