What Solar Energy Can Do

 

Since moving to Southern California, I’ve become much “greener” than when I lived in Virginia. Which is odd because on the surface, Virginia’s appearance is obviously greener than SoCal. And holding nothing against my beautiful Virginians, there are some things you don’t appreciate until you’ve gone without. And I’ve realized because of the lack of greenery, among other dwindling resources in the golden state, Californians are much more earth-conscious (at least some try to be).

Solar energy is not a new concept, with primitive use dating back to the 7th century B.C., though modern technological solar energy as we know it is rooted in European history. By now, most people are familiar with this alternate source of energy, but I don’t think many realize or understand the huge benefits it can provide for the earth and our quality of life. Simply put, solar energy is energy directly transmitted from the sun using solar panels to power anything from residential units to vast commercial properties. In addition to solar panels, solar hot water energy is also used by warming water using the heat radiated from the sun.

So why is solar energy so important? Well, I’m sure most people immediately think about the cost aspect. According to WhiteFence Index, the national average utility cost for a home in May 2012 was $226.87. That seems quite ridiculous. Though the average doesn’t break down whether these numbers are for single family homes or apartments, it gives a snapshot of what folks are paying around the country.

Slowly, solar powered energy is becoming a more viable solution to higher utility costs for many every-day Americans. Initial set up and installation costs may be a bit steep, but the drastic decrease in costs flow through a lifetime. A Coulquitt County man’s amazing story shows first-hand the life changing benefits of solar energy. He began using solar energy to power his southern Georgia farm and watched his energy costs drop to virtually nothing during certain months of the year. Though the system is expensive, his story shows how government incentives substantially lowered the final expense.

With the country’s economy in dire straits, we all need to look towards solar energy and the surge of new jobs it brings. Solar energy won’t just power homes, but businesses of all types. To instill innovative, groundbreaking technology involves many different components. Research and development, construction, operations, maintenance and manufacturing all play a huge role in creating this viable source of energy. Not only will this branch of green energy bring new jobs, but open an entirely new educational track. The level of job creation is exponential in this field and if nothing else, solar energy can provide a jumpstart to the economy; it can’t hurt.

Solar energy is the fastest growing economic sector in the country. The future holds many avenues that will be impacted by solar energy, from job creation to the environment. Future generations can reap the benefits of such a shift in our environmental framework, if we take the time and begin to make the necessary changes today.

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