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Our Top 5 Facts About Solar Energy

March 11, 2024
Brian Church
The words "Facts About Solar Energy" over an image of a solar-powered home.

Let's talk about the facts.

The truth about solar panels.

Let's talk about the aspects of solar energy that make it one of the best (if not the absolute best) energy sources in the world.

Although there are so many interesting and powerful things about solar that inspire us every day at Palmetto, here are the top five facts about solar energy that we think everyone should know.

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1. More new solar panels are installed than any other power source.

If you feel like you have been seeing more solar panels in your neck of the woods lately, you are probably correct and certainly not alone. When looking at energy projects of every variety, solar installations led the country in 2023, surpassing all other new forms of electricity generation, including both fossil fuels and renewable resources like wind power.

When you look at the numbers, this statistic isn’t all that surprising, considering that solar energy installations have been consistently trending upward in the United States for the last two decades. Looking into the future, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that all of this added capacity will allow annual solar electricity generation to surpass hydropower in 2024.

2. Solar is the most abundant energy source globally.

Of course, one of the main reasons that solar energy has been able to experience such rapid adoption in recent years is the fact that the sun's radiation is the most widely available source of renewable energy in the world.

While every kind of energy source has its own pros, cons, advantages, and disadvantages (renewable or fossil fuel), the truth is today that few things on earth are as consistent and globally available as good old-fashioned sunlight.

For this reason, so many people, businesses, governments, utilities, non-profits, and even space programs feel confident in relying on sunlight to generate electricity all over (and even out of) this world.

In 2023, ten countries have installed over 20 GW of solar energy capacity, which is roughly equivalent to the annual power consumption of 17.5 million American homes.

3. Solar is the cheapest source of electricity ever.

In a way, it almost goes without saying that access to sunlight is something that is free of charge and can never be hidden behind any sort of paywall.

Although a competing energy mogul once blocked access to sunlight with a large metallic “Sun Blocker” in a famous episode of The Simpsons, it would be hard to believe that this parody could be added to the growing list of real-life events that the show has successfully predicted to be true.

So… thinking that access to sunlight will remain free for the foreseeable future, the financial costs of going solar are primarily only associated with equipment, labor, and permitting, rather than any ongoing expenses.

Following a 98% reduction in costs over the last 40 years through continuous improvements in technology and supply chains, solar investments are now considered the cheapest source of electricity in history.

Learn more: is solar energy a good investment?

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4. Solar power is often hidden in plain sight.

If you ever have the chance to experience a bird's eye view of your city, whether that be via drone footage or by looking out of a plane window, it may surprise you how many solar panels are actively harnessing sunlight and generating emission-free electricity nearby.

From remote fields hosting massive solar installations for utilities, communities, and farms to the increasing number of businesses and residential complexes lining their roofs with panels, solar power is everywhere, whether or not it can be seen at street level.

Beyond the tucked-away solar panels that can be discovered from above, many new solar energy installations are now also generating electricity while more or less “in disguise” as another building material.

With products like solar shingles and solar windows, more and more home and commercial property owners are now generating solar power with building-integrated photovoltaics in addition to traditional panels.

5. Solar energy has a bright past and future.

When looking at solar power through a wide lens over time, harnessing sunlight is a tried and true method for energy generation that has been in use since the dawn of man. From lighting torches in ancient Greece to heating water and now generating massive amounts of renewable electricity, solar energy has played a significant role in the development and advancement of human life on Earth.

Fast forward to today and solar energy technology is amid a boom in both innovation and adoption. Largely powered by global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and electricity costs, many predictions now indicate that solar will be the most prevalent energy source in the world by 2050.

We hope that you enjoyed these solar energy facts.
Whether you are looking for energy savings at home or want to grow your solar business, we are here to help. Discover Palmetto today.

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