The sun is a near-infinite source of energy and one of the world’s greatest resources. One recent study found that 25,000 square miles of solar panels (an area roughly the size of West Virginia) would generate enough electricity to power the entire world. By investing in solar power, you can help take advantage of the sun’s abundant resources and bring the United States one step closer to energy independence.
Global energy markets are notoriously unstable, and price fluctuations can have a serious impact on the U.S. economy. When we expand our capacity to generate solar electricity within the U.S., we also insulate ourselves from those price fluctuations and ensure a sustainable source of energy for the future. Even Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest oil producers, recognizes the economic and political benefits of solar energy: in 2012, the country announced a goal to build 41 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2032. Let’s assume electricity prices will continue to rise by three percent each year. The typical U.S. home spends about $1,200 annually on electricity. If you buy a system that meets 100 percent of your electricity needs today, you will have an extra $1,200 in your pocket a year from now. The following year, when prices go up, you’ll save $1,236. Your savings will continue to grow for the 25+ years that your panels generate electricity, adding up to $32,000 over the lifespan of your system.
Even if you don’t have the cash to buy a solar energy system up front, you can still reduce energy costs by financing your solar panel system with a solar loan, solar lease, or solar power purchase agreement (PPA). Most solar financing options require no money down and reduce your monthly expenses from day one of installation. As an added benefit, your monthly energy costs will no longer fluctuate – they will simply be the monthly amount of your loan or lease payment.