Well, perhaps Solar Appreciation Day is not as celebrated as much as, say, Mothers' Day or Halloween. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find a Hallmark card in recognition thereof. We should, nevertheless, acknowledge how significant a role solar energy has played in our lives, even if we don’t all have solar panels on our rooftops.
Just to prove this point, here are some interesting statistics on solar energy.
This year will be a record year for both solar and wind power, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. They estimate that 44 gigawatts (GW) of solar will come online, almost double its 2021 projection of 23 GW. To put that number into perspective, the U.S. has a total generating capacity of 1,200 GW, according to the Public Power Association.
Solar power will account for nearly half of new U.S. electric generating capacity in 2022, according to EIA.
Planned U.S. Utility-Scale Electric Generating Capacity Additions (2022) gigawatts (GW)
(Click on Image)
The price of solar PV panels has declined by 99% since 1977. Meanwhile, the price of crude oil is at record highs.
Solar Panel Costs: Solar Choice Price Index | Feb 2022
Source: Solar Choice
By 2050, China is targeted to be the first nation to collect space solar power and send it to earth wirelessly, according to SeedScientific. Why not the U.S.A?
The good news is that we have not even begun to tap the sun’s energy. As you read this, more solar energy hits the earth in one day than everyone on earth could use in 27 years! That’s a lot of energy. And we are only tapping about 1% of this. We don’t even have to drill for it, or transport it, or fight wars for it. And the benefits of solar power extend well beyond pure energy resources. In fact, there’s a growing body of research proving the financial and societal benefits of significantly growing the quantity of local, distributed solar and storage deployed on the U.S. electric grid.
Local energy resources (rooftop, community solar and battery storage) have been shown to equitably distribute the benefits of clean energy while providing jobs, resilience and savings to communities left out of our century-old electricity grid. And they are the most affordable solution in our transition to a clean energy future.
Solar Power = Jobs, Jobs and more Jobs
A new, state-of-the-art utility road mapping study, conducted by Vibrant Clean Energy and commissioned by Local Solar for All, shows how the U.S can achieve President Biden’s climate and equity goals at the lowest cost and greatest benefit to electricity customers. Vibrant’s analysis reveals that increasing local solar and storage will lead to the creation of over 1.2 million new American jobs by 2030.
Surely with the Russian-instigated war in Ukraine, we are in the heat of an energy crisis. Meanwhile, solar power remains the world’s most untapped resource. So, what are we waiting for? Break out your sun shaped cake and let's get the party started!
In the meantime, how about educating your kids. Here’s a great (short) video you can play for them while they are waiting for that piece of that cake. You too, may even learn something from it.
Let's celebrate solar every day, not just today. Why? Because we are all in this together.