Solar panels: they’re beginning to take the world by storm. You may see hundreds of them spanning massive fields along the highway, lining commercial buildings or even scattered on the roofs of your neighbor’s houses.
It’s no mystery why they’re beginning to become so popular; with the exception of installation costs (which, admittedly, can be steep, on average just upwards of $10,000) they are increasingly less expensive than fossil fuels, and a better bang for your buck at that rate. Many states nationwide will even provide tax credits for installing a PV unit (varies by state), and that’ll drive your costs down even more. Even better, it saves consumers an immense amount in the long run; EnergySage claims that in Boston homeowners have saved up to $43,000 over 20 years, and as much as $50,000 in L.A. It certainly pays for itself, to say the least, and produces no carbon to contribute to the environment’s immense surplus. How could you say no to that?
With the high fixed costs aside, the primary complaint when it comes to solar energy seems to be its overall reliability. After all, there are absolutely times when the sun won’t be shining, and in turn times when electricity won’t be coming through. To accommodate this discrepancy, energy companies are attempting to work with a dynamic grid where other energy source reserves (hydro, natural gas) can be utilized to supplement the low production times. While having to draw from other sources is somewhat counterintuitive when advocating for solar energy, solar panels also have incredible capabilities to store energy, which can be fed back into the grid or used for later times when sun isn’t available.
All technology is a work in progress and can always be developed, but, as it goes, in terms of transitioning to a more green lifestyle and restricting carbon output, solar panels are a great, relatively affordable option to get that change in the motions.