16 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Solar Energy
Adoption of solar power in Texas, across America, and worldwide is growing at an exponential rate. In this article we take a look at some incredible facts about our favorite source of renewable energy.
Homeowners, Businesses, And Power Companies Are All Using Solar Energy
Americans Support More Adoption Of Solar Energy. A March 2015 Gallup Poll found that 79% of respondents think the U.S. should place more emphasis on solar development. 70% of Republicans, 83% of Independents, and 82% of Democrats polled said more emphasis was needed on solar as an energy source.
Fortune 500 Companies Are Going Solar Because It Makes Good Business Sense. Walmart, Kohl’s, Costco, Apple, IKEA and many, many more businesses have all embraced solar energy. In total, 129 million people – 41 percent of all Americans – live within 20 miles of a solar powered business. For American companies, an investment in solar allows them to reduce energy costs, allocate resources to core business operations, and better plan for the future.
MASSIVE Utility-Scale Solar Farms Are Being Installed By Power Companies. For example, CPS Energy, San Antonio’s main utility provider, is seventh in the country in terms of solar generation capacity, and they have an agreement in place for future development of even more solar power. The company’s goal is to achieve renewable-energy capacity equal to 15 percent of customers’ peak electrical demand by 2020. Click here to read a blog we wrote about the HUGE solar farms being built to power San Antonio.
In fact, many power companies in Texas will pay YOU to install solar panels on your home or business! More about the solar rebates & incentives available in Texas here.
Solar Makes Strong Financial Sense
The Cost Of A Single Solar Panel Has Decreased 60% Since 2011. The average cost of a fully installed PV solar system (solar panels, installation, and all other hardware) has decreased by more than 50% since 2010.
Every Day The Sun Shines Is A Day Of Savings For Solar Powered Homes. The average American family who went solar back in 2011 is on track to save over $20,000 dollars by 2031!
Solar Power Offers A Higher Return On Investment (ROI) Than Many “Good Investments” Including Stocks, Bonds, and CDs. An analysis by CostOfSolar.com found that for millions of people a solar investment beats the S&P 500, 30-year treasury bonds, and even a 5-year CD (certificate of deposit)!
Going Solar Increases The Value Of Your Home. Adding a PV solar panel system onto a home leads to an average resale premium of about $15,000 dollars according to a recent study conducted by the US Department of Energy.
Solar Energy Can Also Be Used For Transportation Purposes
Space Missions Have Relied On Solar Energy To Power Spaceships Since 1958. Vanguard I was the first solar powered satellite launched into orbit March 17, 1958, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, as part of the beginning of the Space Race. Vanguard’s solar technology paved the way for other U.S. satellites that have launched since — the early satellite’s solar cells operated for about 7 years, while conventional solar cell technology installed today is expected to last for 30 years or more.
The International Space Station, which has been in orbit for over 16 years, is powered by four sets of solar arrays. Together, the arrays contain a total of 262,400 solar cells, and cover an area of about 27,000 square feet – more than half the area of a football field!
More recently, LightSail, an experimental solar-powered spacecraft, was launched into orbit above Earth with the goal to make space exploration affordable and efficient. American scientist and TV star Bill Nye helped build the LightSail spacecraft which sails entirely on solar energy.
A 100% Solar Powered Airplane Has Been Developed And Is Doing Test Flights Across The Globe. Solar Impulse is a Swiss long-range experimental solar-powered aircraft project attempting to achieve the first circumnavigation of the Earth using only solar power. Solar Impulse 1 completed successful solar-powered flights from Switzerland to Spain and to Morocco in 2012, and a multi-stage flight across the United States in 2013.
Solar Impulse 2, a more powerful version of the aircraft, began its global circumnavigation in March 2015. The plane departed from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, flew all the way across Asia, and then flew from Japan to Hawaii where it is currently receiving maintenance and repair.
PlanetSolar Is A Solar Powered Boat Which Has Sailed The World Powered Only On Solar Energy. On September 27th, 2010, the solar vessel left the port of Monaco, returning there 584 days later, on May 4th, 2012. The boat and her crew crossed the Atlantic, the Panama Canal, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, the Suez Canal, before finally returning to the Mediterranean Sea. The success of this first world tour shows that we now have the resources, the knowledge and technologies required to reduce our dependence on fossil energy.
Solar Powered Electric Vehicles Are Becoming More Popular, Too
Someone Converted An Old VW Van To Run On Solar. The head of technology of an IT company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts fixed up an iconic 1966 Volkswagen bus into a completely solar-powered vehicle. The solar panels which were permanently installed to the roof reportedly supply enough electricity so that the bus does not have to pulled in and recharged like conventional electric vehicles.
The Fisker Karma Is A Beautiful Plug-In Hybrid Sports Car Complete With Futuristic Solar Roof. A company called Fisker Automotive produced a high-end plug-in hybrid sports car which can go up to 125 mph and 0-60 in 6.3 seconds. A pair of electric motors drive the rear wheels, and the roof is covered in solar cells. Production was suspended in November 2012 due to financial difficulties, and it is rumored that a new owner will reintroduce the Karma under the name Elux Karma in 2016.
Tesla Motors Is Developing A Solar Powered Supercharger Network.
Tesla is building a global network of supercharging stations designed to rapidly recharge their electric cars, many of which are powered by solar panels. A Tesla supercharger can refuel an EV to provide 170 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes. There are currently 493 Supercharger stations across America, with over 2,700 Superchargers.
Imagine if instead of driving to the local gas station every time you needed to refill your tank you could just plug-in to the power outlet in your garage and recharge at night.
For more than 325,000 electric car drivers in America this is an everyday occurrence, and many of them are installing rooftop solar panels to provide the “fuel” to refill their vehicles, essentially allowing them to drive on sunshine!
Solar Popularity Is A Global Happening
The Oil Kingdom Is Going Solar. Saudi Arabia is preparing to build a solar-panel factory, another factory is about to produce polysilicon for solar cells, and 10 big solar projects are getting underway. The country has set a goal of building 41 gigawatts of solar capacity — more than any nation has today — in the first half of this century.
Another Solar Village Popping Up In The Desert. Masdar City in Abu Dhabi – ironically home to 8% of global crude oil reserves – is in the process of generating 100% of its energy needs through renewable sources. See the video below to learn more.
Worldwide Wind And Solar Power Generation Has Increased Fivefold Since 2004. Denmark now derives 45% of its domestic energy from renewable sources, and more than 1 in 5 buildings are powered by renewables in countries like Germany, Sweden, and even Albania.
The Sunshine Hitting Texas In 1 Month Contains More Energy Than ALL Of The Oil & Gas Ever Pumped Out Of The State.
Join The Solar Revolution!
Alba Energy serves a number of markets in Texas including Austin, Round Rock, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, San Marcos, and Schertz. Thanks to $0 Down Financing and available Rebates & incentives, you may be able to power your home with solar and pay a lower total monthly amount on energy costs!