Solar power increased worldwide by 50 percent last year due to a new surge by the United States and China. With an increase in the amount of usable solar energy, increase in demand, and new solar technologies developed in 2016, it is more beneficial than ever to switch to the clean energy source in 2017.
Solar energy is a clean and cost-effective energy resource that you can integrate into your daily life. It helps protect our environment, saves you money, and increases the value of your home. Although the savings vary from household to household, you could save enough money to buy thirty iPhones, 101 Dalmatians, or five trips to Disney World for a family of four. Here are some ways you can integrate solar-powered items into your home.
Solar Paneled Roofs: According to the Dow Chemical Company, solar paneled roofing slashes electric bills by forty to sixty percent. With clean-energy incentives in some states, this reduction can easily be much higher. Currently, the prices for solar panel systems are dropping and new technology is making it easier to install. One of the biggest reasons people were not jumping on the solar panel train was because the panels were an unappealing addition to one’s home. However, with new technology developed in 2016, you can install a “solar-skin panel” which is customizable and mimics the appearance of your roof. This will ultimately increase the value of your home.
Solar Batteries: Although solar batteries are currently rather expensive, an increase in demand is expected to lead to a more affordable and efficient market in 2017. These batteries reduce waste, save money, have an increased lifespan, and are safer to dispose than lithium-ion batteries. Because they don’t need access to external electrical sources, you can use your batteries anywhere at any time. These batteries can be used for cellphones and other electronic devices. Other companies such as Tesla have developed battery packs that store solar power during the day and allow you to use this excess energy to provide electricity throughout the night.
Solar Powered Cars: Solar-powered cars are expected to become the future of transportation. Currently there is no fully solar-powered car on the market, but this is set to become a reality as China’s Hanergy Holding Group unveiled its solar-powered concept cars in 2016. These cars will run on solar power alone and is set for production within three years. Not only will these cars reduce our carbon footprint, but it will also save the driver gas money and enroll him/her in tax credits for owning a clean car.
Guest written by Jess Walter
Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets. She specializes in economic, business and environmental areas, with a passion for all things eco-friendly and thrifty.