Last month Environment America Research & Policy Center released a new review of 16 value-of-solar studies from around the country.
HELP TECHNOLOGY — The report found that there are at least 8 key benefits of rooftop solar:
1. Reduced waste
Solar energy systems produce clean, renewable electricity on-site, reducing the amount of power utilities must generate or purchase from fossil fuel-fired power plants.
In addition, distributed solar-systems reduce the amount of energy lost in generation, long-distance transmission, and distribution, which cost Americans about $21 billion in 2014.
2. Lower costs
By reducing overall demand for electricity during daytime hours, solar energy production helps customers and utilities avoid investments in new power plants.
Also, by reducing demand for energy from the grid, home and business solar systems reduce the overall price of electricity, saving money for all customers.
3. Less risk
Because the price of solar energy tends to be stable over time, whereas the price of fossil fuels can fluctuate sharply, integrating more solar energy into the grid reduces consumers’ exposure to volatile electricity prices.
4. Stronger grid
Distributed energy decentralizes the grid, potentially safeguarding people in one region from other areas that are experiencing problems, like blackouts. Emerging technologies, including smart meters and battery storage systems, will enhance this value.
5. Clean electricity
Increasing solar energy capacity helps utilities avoid the costs of meeting renewable energy requirements or installing new technologies to clean-up fossil fuel-fired power plants. It also helps avoid the cost of emission allowances where pollution is capped, like in California and New York.
6. Reduced greenhouse gases
In 2014, the electricity sector was the largest source of carbon emissions, responsible for 30% of all U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. Generating energy from the sun provides a renewable source of energy that produces no greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2015, distributed solar energy alone—just solar panels on households and businesses, averted approximately 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
7. Improved public health
Solar can help us reduce health costs. According to the American Lung Association, 52% of Americans live in a place where pollution often reaches dangerous levels.
As described in a recent blogpost, a National Research Council study found that health-impacting pollutants from coal- and gas-fired power plants, respectively, cost society 3.2 cents and 0.16 cents per unit of generated electricity (kilowatt-hour).
With an average household in the United States using about 11,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, the health cost associated with that electricity consumption would be about $350/year if it all came from a coal plant.
8. Economic growth
The American solar industry is growing rapidly, creating new jobs and businesses across the nation. In 2015, the solar industry added jobs at a rate 12 times that of the overall economy, and as of November 2015, employed more than 208,000 people.
The report also shows that solar panels on homes, schools, and businesses often provide more benefits than they receive through programs like net metering, which credits solar panel owners when they generate more power than they use, providing electricity for other customers.
Thank you to our friends at HELP Technology for providing the original article below.
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