12 Surprising Facts About Solar Energy You Need to Know

These days more and more people have become all too aware of the serious issue that is climate change, and solar energy offers one potential solution to this problem. Chances are you have seen at least commercial buildings that operate partially or completely on solar energy, and many private residences are becoming powered by the sun as well. A lot of people have quite a few misconceptions about solar energy, so it’s important that you learn the facts.

These 12 solar energy facts will provide you with all the information you need on this topic.

1. Solar Energy is the Most Abundant Form of Energy on the Planet

The fact is that solar energy is by far the most abundant energy source on the planet, and that is not something that will change anytime soon. A total of 173,000 terawatts (TW) of solar energy comes down on our planet on a regular basis. While this can be fairly difficult to wrap your head around, rest assured that it is A LOT.

solar energy the most abundant energy source
solar energy the most abundant energy source on the planet

One of the reasons why so many people all over the world are pushing so hard for a more solar-powered earth is because there is o much of it to go around. We will never have to worry about running out of solar energy like other more traditional energy sources. There is a ton of opportunity for solar energy, but we have yet to fully utilize it as we should.

2.The Solar Industry is Growing More Rapidly Than Many Others

When you take a look at just how quickly the solar energy industry is growing and moving upward even compared to healthcare and other traditional industries, it’s quite impressive. There is simply no question that there is a huge use and demand for solar energy, and that is reflected in the industry statistics. In fact, solar energy as an industry has grown about 68% annually, which is huge progress to say the least.

Growth of solar PV in GW
Source: Wikipedia

The booming growth of the solar industry has resulted in many people in the U.S. and all over the world saving money on their energy bills in the long term with solar panels. And while it used to cost a lot of money to have solar panels installed on one’s home, the expense has decreased by over 70%. It is now more affordable to have a solar powered home than ever before, which is good for both homeowners and the environment.

3. Putting Solar Panels on Your Home Can Make it More Valuable

Solar energy can benefit people in lots of different ways, including making their homes more valuable. If you spend the money to have solar panels installed on your home, you could increase its value by up to $30,000. This means that if and when you ever decide to sell your home, you will more than likely be able to get quite a bit more for it.

Solar Panels on the roof of a house
Solar Panels on the roof of a house (U.S. Air Force photo/Carole Chiles Fuller)

Not everyone wants to spend the money necessary to have solar panels installed on their home, but it’s important that you look at it as an investment. With the rising demand of solar power from people all across the country, it is no wonder that these panels increase the value of the average home in such a big way. You will also save a lot of money in the long run with solar panels, as you won’t be spending nearly as much on your utilities anymore from month to month.

4. Individuals Can Go Solar With $0 Down

You will find that many companies that install solar panels on people’s homes will do this type of work without any sort of down payment. This means that you no longer need to front a huge amount of money to power your home with the UV rays of the sun. While it’s true that some of these businesses still require a minimal down payment, more and more companies are offering these services without any upfront fees.

Going solar in your home

If you are seriously interested in going solar at home, it is important that you take the time to look into some of these businesses so that you can find the right one. You will be required to pay a monthly fee of some kind regardless of whether or not you make a down payment, but it’s usually fairly low and affordable. While solar energy may not be as ubiquitous as it should, it has become popular and common enough for the average person to pay for. In fact, the cost of solar panels has gone down almost 100% since the mid 1970s.

5. There are Two Methods Used for Converting Solar Energy to Solar Power

solar thermal diagram
Solar Thermal. Source: heatdifferent.co.uk

There are two main methods that are used to turn raw solar energy into solar power that can keep your lights at home on. The first method is called direct or photovoltaic, and it involves the use of solar panels. These panels turn the solar energy given to us by the sun into electricity that can run an entire house or even commercial building. There are lots of different solar panel designs from various companies, but they all operate on pretty much the same basic principle.

The second method that is used to convert solar energy to solar power is indirect or solar thermal, which involves the use of numerous solar thermal collectors. This can be a very effective means of generating enough power to heat an entire house. While the first method is by far the more common one that is used, both methods are equally viable.

6. Solar Energy is Completely Safe

Safety is always a concern when you are looking at a viable energy source, but solar energy doesn’t pose any threats to the public safety whatsoever. This form of energy doesn’t come with the same types of risks that you get with other more traditional energy sources, such as chemical leaks or explosions. This means that you get all of the benefit and none of the risk. Solar energy doesn’t involve the use of any hazardous toxins that could be dangerous if they are not contained, and it is completely clean in every sense.

It is incredibly important that we as a society find a renewable source of energy that doesn’t pose any significant safety issues, which is where solar comes in. While the sun itself might be able to cause harm to people in the form of skin cancer and sunburns, solar energy doesn’t come with any negative effects whatsoever.

This form of energy doesn’t come with the same types of risks that you get with other more traditional energy sources, such as chemical leaks or explosions.


7. The Maintenance Costs Are Surprisingly Low

While you might think that maintaining a solar power setup is very expensive and difficult, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that solar panels are generally very durable and don’t require a lot of repairs or maintenance over the years. Maintaining solar power systems is typically quite inexpensive, which is just another reason that so many people are starting to invest in it with their own homes and businesses.

The Maintenance Costs are low

Generating the actual power is totally free with solar energy, so the overall cost is very low. A lot of people avoid getting solar panels for their homes because they think it will be expensive to keep up, but the fact is that it really isn’t.

8. It Can Reduce the Progression of Global Warming

A vast majority of scientists agree that climate change is definitely a real thing that is happening, and solar energy is playing an important role in slowing down the entire process. Global warming could cause all sorts of catastrophic consequences in the not-too-distant future, which is all the more reason to start looking for alternative, renewable and sustainable energy sources like solar power.

Global Warming
Source: Tucmag.net

Solar energy definitely has the ability to significantly slow down the global warming effect on the planet that is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases. This particular energy source is completely clean and doesn’t produce any of the awful things that are damaging to the environment like with coal or oil. If you want to do your part for the environment, it’s important to keep this in mind.

9. It is a Viable Option for Most People

One of the things that some people still don’t understand about solar power is that it is a viable option for most people all over the planet. This energy source can be especially helpful in very isolated and remote areas where there isn’t an established energy grid. Approximately one billion people all over the planet do not have electricity, so it is a major problem that needs to be solved.

Regardless of where you happen to be on the planet, chances are you can use solar energy to your advantage. It is not something that can only be utilized by those who live in traditionally sunny places like Florida. The truth is that solar energy can work well almost anywhere, and it has very few limitations that cannot be overcome in one way or another.

10. Solar Power Plants Last At Least 40 Years

Solar Power Plants
Copyright Paul-Langrock.de. 01.Juli 2009.

The average lifespan of solar power plants is around 40 years, though they can certainly last longer than that. One of the great things about these infrastructures is that they can easily be replaced with a more efficient model when necessary. The long lifespan of these power plants is just one reason why they are being built at such a high rate of speed all over the world. While solar power plants have yet to fully catch on in the U.S., it’s only a matter of time.

The longer a power plant lasts, the more money is saved. The current power plants that we use are incredibly difficult to just replace, even when it is desperately needed. Solar power offers a great solution to one of the biggest problems with the current traditional power sources that are used.

11. Solar Energy is Deployed Fastest

Out of all the different types of power sources that are used across the planet, solar energy can definitely be deployed the fastest by a very large margin. When there is a major disaster somewhere in the world, solar energy can be extremely useful because of how quickly and easily it can be set up to help others who are without electricity.

No fossil fuels are required, and a solar power facility can be established fairly quickly. You simply will not find any other energy source that can be put into action in a given area within such a short period of time.

12. There is Likely a Solar Panel By You

Most people are surprised to learn just how close the nearest solar panel is to them. Solar energy has become so prevalent across the country that there is a good chance that you live by numerous panels that are used to power residential and/or commercial or industrial structures. New solar power projects are being rolled out each year, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that there are so many areas with multiple solar panels powering different places.

Because solar panel is so widespread, you can trust that it works just about anywhere. The more solar panels people see, the more of them get installed. If you drive around your area for a little while, you are likely to eventually see solar panels on people’s roofs as well as businesses that use them. Both small businesses and larger retail chains have started taking advantage of everything that solar power has to offer.

Solar energy is extremely important for a number of reasons, including the fact that it is great for the environment and can replace less eco-friendly power sources. An increasing number of people all over the world are starting to have solar panels installed on their homes and businesses as a means of doing their part for the planet while saving money. If you are looking for a meaningful way to go green while keeping the lights on at home, this is certainly a viable option to seriously consider.