The Major Benefits of Solar
Solar has been one of the top three new sources of generation added to the grid in the last seven years. In fact, solar provides 30% of the new electricity produced in the United States in 2019, up from just 4% in 2010. Solar panels are a manufactured product that take significantly less energy to fabricate than they produce over their lifetime.
Solar costs have also fallen dramatically. The cost of an average-size residential solar energy system decreased 55% between 2010 and 2018, from $40,000 to $18,000—and that’s before factoring in incentives like the solar Investment Tax Credit. DOE is also focusing on reducing financing burdens and red tape for American families who choose to go solar.
The source of solar energy—the sun—is nearly limitless and can be accessed anywhere on earth at one time or another. It would take around 10 million acres of land—or only 0.4% of the area of the United States—to allow enough space for solar photovoltaics (PV) to supply all of our nation’s electricity.
In facts, solar can help restart the grid if it goes down. Typically, a signal from a spinning turbine—like that from a coal or natural gas plant—is required to “set the beat” of the grid. Now, DOE research is support advanced solar system that can take the lead, restarting the grid if no spinning turbine is available.
Homeowners who install solar power systems can receive numerous benefits: lower electric bills, lower carbon footprints, and potentially higher home values.