July 16, 2015
Solar Panel on Roof

Solar powered energy has made great strides in the past year. But how much more beneficial is solar power in comparison to fossil fuels?

GREEN POWER

Environmentally speaking, renewable resources such as wind, water, and solar energy are vastly more beneficial to the environment than the burning of fossil fuels to power your home. We at Cam Solar have prevented the emission of 35 million tons of carbon dioxide, thereby preventing harm to the environment.

FOSSIL FUELS

In 2015 alone, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) states that 5,391 million metric tons of fossil fuels will be emitted into the atmosphere from the U.S. This creates the air pollution, that depletes the ozone layer, which contributes to global warming. In turn, global warming, or the rising in the earth’s overall temperature, contributes to rising water levels, endangering of species, and even an increased risk of natural disasters.

In comparison to the enormous carbon footprint from fossil fuels, renewable resources, including solar power, provide energy with a much smaller carbon footprint. The means of extracting and using renewable resource also uses less manpower. This makes solar power more environmentally beneficial and cost effective. In the long run, fossil fuels will decrease and deplete completely. However, renewable energy has no end point, making it the most reliable source for energy needs.

COST OF GAS/COAL POWERED ELECTRICITY VS. SOLAR

The effects of global warming due to fossil fuels may not be visibly daunting in this generation. For most people today it comes down to cost. In Texas, the average residential electricity bill for July ranges from $130 to $220. This monthly bill equates to about 11¢/kWh for gas or coal powered energy.

Solar power in Austin can cost less than 5¢/kWh! That’s greater than half the price of gas-powered energy. During the course of 20 years, Texans using solar energy will save over $20,000. That’s $1,000 per year! Texas is one of the first states to offer prices this low for solar energy. While many states jack up solar power prices due to state subsidies, Texas keeps their solar prices low especially during summer. However, with gas powered AC summertime can leave you with the priciest bills.

EFFICIENCY

Solar powered homes or commercial buildings only require an initial installation. All it takes is set-up on your roof which plugs into your electrical grid. Contrary to some beliefs, installing solar power to your home is quick and painless requiring much less continuing maintenance than gas powered electricity.

Furthermore, using solar panels for your electricity has a return on investment. During the sunniest hours of the day, the extra energy is accounted as credit unto your utility bill. These savings in addition to your initial savings for choosing solar compared to gas, returns the investment you paid for the one-time installation over time.

While there is a return on investment seen for solar power, gas energy does not show the same return. The amount of manpower to extract coal and natural gas is substantial. It starts with manpower, and then factories to harness the fossil fuels into energy, which then finally reaches your residence. There is also never a credited surplus with fossil fuels. This return on investment is seen only in renewable resources.

PROJECTION

Recent strides in Texas have made solar power more readily available for residents. The EIA estimates that renewable energy has increased by 1.8% in 2015. By the end of 2016, renewable resources, including solar power, are expected to increase by 5.5%. For fossil fuels however, there has been a slight decrease in 2015.

As the trend for renewable energy increases, the projected use of fossil fuels and their corresponding emissions decrease. The increase in renewable energy has been a common trend for many states in the Southwest. Oklahoma and California have also held the path for the increase in sustainable energy.

Efforts by President Obama since 2013 has also raised awareness and support for increased sustainable energy and a decreased carbon footprint. In 2014, President Obama announced that he would combine forces with China to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2025.

This nationwide effort for the past few years has put solar energy at the forefront of the public’s mind as the most beneficial form of electricity to power our homes and cities.

ECONOMICS

One of the greatest advantages of solar power is financial independence. While fossil fuels require industrial titans as middlemen, solar power is sourced naturally, getting rid of the hassle. With solar power, no one is controlling how much sun you receive in your panels.

Unlike fossil fuels, the sun provides consistency. Although the weather will make your solar energy fluctuate from season to season, you will always receive it. However, with gas powered electricity, prices can spike without notice due to the limited supply.

Finally, investing in solar power creates new jobs, stimulating the economy. Compared to the amount of jobs contributed to fossil fuels, double to triple that amount are available in jobs for solar energy. Investing in solar power puts millions of workers and capital into the economy. Not only does solar power benefit the customer financially, but also the country as a whole.

The increased demand for solar energy in the past year has not been unprecedented. Solar power is much more cost effective and environmentally friendly than fossil fuels. Even better, solar power simplifies your electricity needs by getting rid of nasty middlemen and power companies. Also, return on investment and reliability make solar energy the safer choice compared to depleting natural gas and coal. By choosing solar, you are choosing to foster the nation’s economy and continue solar energy’s many benefits.

So the answer is clear. Although fossil fuels may be the norm today, Texas is in the forefront trend towards solar energy. To switch to solar get your estimate with Cam Solar.

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