Times are hard. We all know it. The economy is down, unemployement is up, and chances are the thought of committing to a project like solar panel installation seems like something for “future you” to worry about. Sure, we all know that solar energy is better for the planet, but what other benefits can going solar bring that makes it worth your time to think about it RIGHT NOW?
Solar Energy, while it can be expensive to install, can lower your monthly bill significantly (for details on how, click here). However, many states across the country are passing incentive bills that help you save money switching to solar, meaning you can save a considerable chunk of that installation cost that has you second-guessing solar.
If the thought of saving money isn’t enough to perk your interest, it is important to remember that solar energy is more than just a cost-efficient alternative to fossil feuls.
For every $1M invested per industry, the solar industry creates twice as many jobs as the coal industry and nearly three times as many as the natural gas industry.
I’ll say that again, in case you missed it the first time.
FOR EVERY $1M INVESTED PER INDUSTRY, SOLAR CREATES TWICE AS MANY JOBS AS COAL AND NEARLY THREE TIMES AS MANY AS THE NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY.
The United States has had one of the highest unemployment rates since the great depression, peaking in 2010 with an unemployment rate of 9.8%, second only to 1983 when it reached 10.8%. While the unemployment rate has dropped down to 4.8% under the Obama Administration, choosing to invest in a job-creating industry (that saves you money!) is a choice that benefits you, your community, and future generations to come.
The final thing to keep in mind when considering solar is the most obvious- the impact (or lack thereof) it has on our environment. The Trump Administration has made it clear that their energy plan consists of “[taking] advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own” (You can read the full “America First Energy Plan” here). What this means, in a nutshell, is that oil drilling is about to become commonplace. Brace yourself, environmental disaster is coming (just a reminder: approximately 82,000 birds of 102 species, 6,165 sea turtles, and 25,900 sea mammals were killed as a result of the gulf oil spill).
Not only does this energy plan pose an imminent threat to wildlife and water, but it is expensive. It costs between $8M-$12.5M to set up one oil well. To compare, it costs around $500,000 for an acre of solar panels.
The second half of President Trump’s energy plan is to revive the American coal industry, and invest in “clean coal” energy (how clean is it? Check out this National Geographic article explaining exactly what the process of cleaning coal entails, and where all that CO2 is going). As we discussed earlier, both of these industries create less jobs, and are dangerous to the world around us. Imagine a world in which we chose the safest and most beneficial form on energy- sunlight.
It is a reliable source that is not dwindling away, destined to disappear within the next 100 years. That’s right- projected research shows that fossil feuls can be diminished as early as 2088. Two or three generations from now, our fossil feuls will be depleted and clean energy will be our only option. Why wait until then? Why not begin the conversion process now, while we still have a failsafe in place?
There are other energy sources available besides solar, such as wind, water, tides, and waves (if you haven’t read about Tidal and Wave Energy yet, I highly recommend it. It is some of the coolest technology we’ve ever created). Any of these sources is superior to oil and coal, so why should you choose solar in that respect? Easy, it’s the most readily available.
(Seriously, we can get your proposal started today)