The US government and the private sector businesses are converting to solar and other forms of renewable energy to meet their sky-high and ever-increasing energy demand. Rapid reduction of construction cost, maintenance cost, remote off-grid solutions, tax payback, no harmful impacts on nature—are some reasons why this conversion is fast paced. Questions now ignite as to how profitable it will be to switch to solar.
Solar energy was first used by the ancient Greek some 2500 years back. If not for generating electricity, it certainly did well on cutting cost of wood. After all these years, the world again realizes its worth. What challenges this realization is how to use it.
Researchers around the world continue to search for electricity generation alternatives. A group of Stanford University scientists lead by Mark Jacobson have developed a 100% renewable energy (by 2050) proposal for all states of the US. Their graphic presentation sketches the percentage of renewable energy plausible for each state. Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering is worried at the current rate of global warming and says, 'Drastic problems require drastic and immediate solutions.'
America knows how drastically she needs to switch, as she fears the cost. Probably politicians are more aware of this! Stanford University’s roadmap does not estimate the cost of going green, nor its operability, feasibility or even worthiness. These are blank spaces to be filled only after the construction.
The newly founded Ivanpah Solar thermal farm is argued for killing birds. Many others are either harnessing too little or consuming too much space. But today’s commercially available technologies is claimed to meet 80% of total electricity generation by 2050. This is either implied by the statistics or estimated by careful calculation, leaving aside bureaucratic formalities, construction site, public reaction, impact on nature and many more. Adverse effects do not rise afloat until a project starts running. America faces these challenges as she takes each step to solar.
Statistics in the US, 2011: Total generation was 4 trillion KWH, 42% of which used fossil fuels. Back then, almost 85% of the big companies saw solar as a challenge. With the turn of only two years, in 2014—50 companies have gone green in some way. Go green has become more of an ad in the market. Skeptically saying, if not for the profit out of it, companies now go green to promote. Good sign indeed! However, green energy created 70,000 jobs by 2010 and this has reached 5 million by now.
Challenges were easier in the micro level. Renewable energy continues to penetrate into the rural sites of US with cheaper panels and lower construction costs. Technological advancements, expertise of development teams, ease of off-grid solutions and availability of materials—all play a good role to this penetration. US boom in solar as individual projects smile brighter.
'Global warming, air pollution and energy insecurity are three of the most significant problems facing the world today,' Jacobson said. Switching to solar and other forms of renewable energy not only cuts down on fuel and carbon, it brings running cost to zero. Solar generation explode globally with 70 gigawatts installations. America continues to cross the threshold, paving way for Green electricity generation. Her future looks bright with solar.
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Greenshine New Energy, LLC. Specializes in developing and manufacturing customized solar powered lighting systems for a wide range of lighting applications. At Greenshine we specialize in solar street lights, garden lights, and lawn lights for outdoor applications. Our lights can be installed anywhere, especially areas where grid tied electricity is not available.