The benefits of solar energy are making this clean source more attractive than ever. Find out why solar has become the fastest-growing source of electricity on the planet.
There has never been a better time to invest in solar energy. Solar power is a clean, affordable, and emissions-free alternative to conventional fossil fuels that predominately power the electricity grid. The sun's abundant energy is free and has a host of associated solar energy benefits for you and your home. In addition to being environmentally friendly, solar can directly improve your life with energy savings, energy independence, and emergency power. This article will dive into the top five benefits of solar energy and why you should invest in a solar system today to secure the bright future of tomorrow.
1. Solar is the cheapest form of electricity
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar is the world's cheapest form of electricity, beating out wind, coal, and natural gas. Solar panel prices have plummeted 80% since 2010 due to technological improvements and economies of scale. Through research and development initiatives, the efficiency and capacity of solar panels have drastically improved, allowing for fewer panels to produce the same amount of energy. Also, with two-thirds of all solar panels being made in China, their lower wages and massive injections of government capital have tremendously influenced the sharp decline in the price of solar.
The U.S. government has also heavily subsidized solar to make this renewable energy more accessible. Taxpayers can receive a 30% federal tax credit, which will be available for the next ten years due to the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act – the most significant clean energy investment in U.S. history. In addition to the federal tax credit, various state incentives can be applied for, range from $500 to $5,000. Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency to search for your state and local tax credits and rebates.
2. Solar saves you money
Installing solar panels on your home can save you up to 75% of your monthly electricity bills. The actual savings will depend on many factors, such as where you live (for optimal sunlight exposure and local incentives), your energy use, grid electricity rate, and the size of your solar system. Historically, utility rates have increased by 2.2% annually, making the case for using solar energy even stronger. Having free and reliable solar energy from a system you own is a major plus to save on rapidly rising electricity costs and provides a sense of stability and normalcy regarding your monthly bill.
Another advantage of solar energy is lowering your energy bills through peak shaving to curb expensive demand charges. This energy-saving tactic is especially beneficial during the summer months when homes use energy-intensive air conditioning. Although it is unlikely that your home will be completely off-grid with solar, every little bit helps and dramatically reduces what you pay to your utility provider.
In 2022, the cost of a residential solar system (including labor and installation) is about $3 - $5 per watt. This pre-subsidized cost of an average 5 kW system is about $15,000 - $25,000, and after applying tax credits and rebates, you can expect to pay $10,000 - $17,000 in total. A more affordable option are portable solar panels sold by Growatt, which can be self-installed for free and used to build an off-grid power system.
After the initial investment of solar is paid off (typically with payback periods of 5-8 years), the power is essentially free for the remaining life of the system. With the industry standard solar panel lifetime of 25-30 years, there is plenty of time to get a healthy return on investment!
3. Solar provides energy independence during uncertain times
Owning a solar system can bring you much needed peace of mind during these uncertain times of recession, energy volatility, inflation, and rolling blackouts. As long as the sun is shining, you can rest assured knowing that you will have affordable access to power – a right that is no longer guaranteed by the government. Lately, geopolitical agendas have caused Russia to turn off gas pipelines that supplied power to Europe, resulting in U.K. energy prices to skyrocket 80%. Record-breaking blackouts throughout the United States have occurred in the past years due to extreme weather events such as heatwaves, wildfires, hurricanes, and freezes, as well as a failing grid system.
The aging and destabilizing U.S. electricity grid is a national emergency. Estimates as high as $2.4 trillion in investments by 2050 are necessary to upgrade the national grid to handle the capacity increase of 2-5 times current levels with the electrification of cars, homes, and heating systems. As the nation transitions to clean power, the vulnerable electricity grid is being put under additional stress as fossil fuel plants are being retired faster than they can be replaced. Power outages will only become more frequent as transmission lines are 50 years past their expected lifetime and are becoming destabilized without proper energy storage systems to pair with intermittent renewable energy.
Instead of relying on the government to keep your lights on, take matters into your own hands and invest in a solar system (ideally with battery backup) for an uninterrupted, reliable, and continuous power supply. As opposed to the alternative of gas or diesel generators, there is no need to refuel, no disturbing loud noise, and no air-polluting greenhouse gas emissions. And compared to other forms of renewable energy, such as wind and hydro, solar can be installed quickly and scaled rapidly with further investment. Secure your energy independence and sleep well knowing your energy needs are met.
4. Solar systems can be portable and travel with you
Solar comes in various configurations other than being permanently installed on your home's rooftop. Portable solar products can travel with you to remote locations, such as on hiking or camping trips, or to be kept in your car for an emergency or natural disaster. These convenient solar systems are completely off-grid and are simple to set up without running wires or drilling through your RV's roof. They come equipped with USB ports and regular plugs to power your favorite electronics, like your laptop, cell phone, camera, or LED string lights. You can also place these panels in direct sunlight while parking your vehicle in the shade for your added comfort. And since you don't have to physically attach these panels to your vehicle’s roof, you can use that space for other gear, such as a kayak or surfboard.
Growatt is a trusted brand of portable solar panels and power stations (i.e., batteries) for a 24/7 backup power supply. Growatt’s plug-and-play solar systems are comprised of lightweight and foldable solar panels and a built-in MPPT (maximum power point tracking) controller to optimize complete charging as fast as 2 hours. Against common misconceptions, foldable solar panels are high-quality products, boasting 22% efficiency, durability, and are waterproof to be long-lasting for all your traveling adventures. For the affordable price of $449, you can have a 200W solar panel that quickly folds and comes equipped with a kickstand for simple outdoor charging.
5. Solar requires minimal maintenance
Installing a solar system is a relatively straight-forward process. Once set up, solar requires minimal maintenance as there are no moving parts. The only necessary upkeep is to clean the panels a few times per year with a garden hose, sponge, or cloth to remove any dust or debris so your panels perform optimally. Throughout the year, the rain will mostly keep the panels clean, so if you live in a rainy area, you may only need to clean your panels once per year. A visual inspection once a month is still recommended to check for any leaves, bird droppings, dirt, or pollen that may be affecting the solar system’s performance.
It is also good practice to monitor the solar system’s output once per month to see if there are any unusual drops in performance that may be due to faulty equipment if there are no clear obstructions. Some solar systems come equipped with a mobile app to check your system's power output and efficiency remotely and will automatically send you notifications if there are any performance issues. When purchasing a solar system, see if the manufacturer provided an equipment warranty and performance guarantee to cover any unexpected malfunctions.
Interested in purchasing a solar system?
Now that you know all the benefits of solar energy, you may be considering purchasing a solar system. One of the most affordable and readily available types of solar systems is a portable plug-and-play system, such as the products offered by Growatt. Take advantage of nature’s abundant solar energy and enjoy the freedom to live anywhere with a portable solar energy system.