Until the 1980s, no one had made a business case for incorporating solar energy into the nation’s utilities electric fleet. With regard to solar, the primary argument in favor was one of the environment. Electricity is generated using photovoltaic (PV) panels, which emit no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and do not require fuel to operate. There has been an 8 percent decrease in the cost of solar panels every year since 1998. It has now reached “grid parity,” which implies that the electricity produced by PV is cost-competitive on a per-kilowatt basis with electricity generated by natural gas or coal plants. At the moment of grid parity, supporters of the technology can use both pure cost analysis and environmental benefits to make their case. An environmental legacy will be defined by the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which was announced recently. There will be a nationwide reduction of 30% in carbon emissions by 2030 under the proposed strategy, Despite the plan’s environmental benefits, its viability is primarily dependent on the availability of renewable energy technology.
As is customary in the United States, electric utility companies are vertically integrated monopolies. Vertical integration refers to the production and distribution of a product by a single business. However, the vertical concept is already being disrupted by solar power. Photovoltaic electricity allows every American the ability to produce their own power, even if it isn’t practical for everyone to have their own coal plant. The term “energy democratization” has been coined to describe this process. People today have access to a dizzying array of options. When it comes to this option, many homeowners are crunching statistics and discovering that an investment in their own electric production will save them thousands over the system’s lifespan.
Individuals aren’t the only ones taking advantage of low rates on their own roofs. The utility companies themselves have begun to invest in large-scale solar systems after realizing the potential of this technology. There are presently a number of solar power farms in the United States. The Mojave Desert, for example, is a great location because of its abundance of solar resources. Over 500 megawatts of power may be generated at the larger farms.
For many Americans, the economic and environmental benefits of generating their own electricity are becoming more apparent. The economic and environmental advantages of solar energy are becoming more and more apparent.