Why Is Using Solar Power Better?

Solar power is one of the fastest growing energy sources in the world today. Over the past decade, the cost of solar panels has plummeted while efficiency has dramatically improved. As more homeowners and businesses switch to solar, many are wondering – why is solar energy better than conventional power sources? In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 reasons why solar power is an advantageous energy solution.

Clean Energy

Solar power is a renewable source of energy, meaning it relies on the sun’s rays rather than finite resources that will eventually run out. Solar panels absorb the sun’s radiation and convert it into usable electricity through photovoltaic cells. This process emits no greenhouse gases or other pollutants, unlike burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. Fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, mercury, and particulate matter, contributing to climate change, acid rain, and health problems. In contrast, solar is clean at the point of electricity generation. Widespread solar adoption can help reduce air and water pollution while creating a sustainable energy supply for the future.

Cost Savings

One of the biggest benefits of going solar is the cost savings over time. Once the solar panels are installed, the sun provides free ongoing energy during daylight hours. This eliminates or significantly reduces monthly electricity bills, depending on how much of your energy needs are met by the solar system.

There is an upfront investment required to purchase and install a solar system. However, solar panels can provide a return on investment in as little as 5-7 years through electricity bill savings. After the system pays for itself, it continues generating free electricity for many more years. The lifespan of today’s solar panels is typically 25-30 years, providing decades of free power.

The exact cost savings and return on investment timeframe depends on several factors like your electricity usage, solar panel system size, electricity rates in your area, and applicable tax credits and incentives. But in many parts of the country, going solar provides substantial lifetime savings compared to relying solely on the utility company for electricity.

Energy Independence

Generating your own electricity through solar panels allows homeowners and businesses to become energy independent. Instead of relying on the traditional electrical grid and paying the local utility company, solar panels enable people to meet their own energy needs. This energy independence provides greater control over electricity costs and supply.

With solar panels, you don’t have to worry about blackouts or power outages affecting your home or business. The sun will continue shining, even when the grid goes down. Solar paired with batteries provides reliable backup power. Rather than scrambling for generators or candles when the lights go out, solar customers can rest easy knowing their essential electrical needs will be met uninterrupted.

In remote areas without connections to the grid, solar power gives people access to electricity who otherwise would go without. Even in populated areas connected to the grid, solar allows people to disconnect from the utility if desired and eliminate monthly electric bills. The freedom to generate your own power leads to true energy independence.

Job Creation

Switching to solar power creates numerous new jobs in communities across the country. The solar industry is one of the fastest-growing job sectors in the United States. Since 2010, solar industry employment has increased over 150% to around 250,000 jobs as of 2019 according to The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census. Many of these new solar jobs are local installation and maintenance positions that cannot be outsourced. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts solar installer job growth of 63% through 2026, much faster than the national average across all occupations. The solar power industry provides many high-paying skilled labor, engineering, and technical jobs. These jobs revitalize local economies by reducing unemployment and increasing tax revenue. In addition, most solar industry jobs have higher median wages than the national average. Solar power contributes to local job growth and economic prosperity.

Peak Energy

One major benefit of solar power is that it matches peak energy demand throughout the daytime hours. Electricity usage typically spikes during the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak. This is due to energy-intensive activities like air conditioning, appliances, and electronics being used more often when people are active and awake. Solar panels can directly supply power to the grid when it’s needed most, taking strain off the electrical grid during peak demand periods. Without solar, more natural gas ‘peaker’ plants have to be brought online to meet the midday surge in energy requirements. Peaker plants are expensive to operate and create more pollution. Solar provides clean energy precisely when it has the greatest impact in reducing fossil fuel usage and stabilizing the grid.

Low Maintenance

Once a solar system is installed, it requires very little maintenance and upkeep to operate effectively. The panels themselves contain no moving parts and are designed to withstand exposure to the elements for decades. Most solar panels come with 20-25 year warranties and can last much longer with proper care. Many panels from the 1970s and 1980s are still functioning today after 30-40 years of use.

The inverters that convert the DC power from the panels to usable AC power may need replacement every 10-15 years. Outside of that, the only maintenance required is to keep the panels relatively clean and clear of debris, which can be done by rainwater or an occasional hosing. Some larger systems may require vegetation control beneath the panels. Overall, solar power systems require far less maintenance than other forms of power generation.

The longevity and minimal maintenance of solar panels make them a very reliable long-term energy investment. Once installed, they can generate clean renewable power with little input needed for potentially 30 years or more. This advantage makes solar power highly appealing to homeowners, businesses and utilities looking for stable low-maintenance energy sources.

Improving Efficiency

solar energy is clean, renewable power that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on finite fossil fuels.

Solar panel technology continues to improve year after year. New materials and manufacturing processes allow solar modules to convert more incoming sunlight into usable electricity. The solar panel efficiency rate shows what percentage of the sun’s energy striking the panel gets turned into electricity. Just a decade ago, average solar panel efficiency rates were around 15%. Thanks to advances in technology, today’s solar panels achieve efficiency rates of 20% or higher.

Some key innovations that have increased solar efficiency rates include:

  • Switching to monocrystalline silicon cells which capture more sunlight.
  • Applying anti-reflective coatings on panels to absorb more light.
  • Using thinner silicon wafers to reduce electrical resistance.
  • Adding more busbars to collect electrical current faster.
  • Implementing advanced solar cell structures and materials such as gallium arsenide.

Researchers are exploring new possibilities like perovskite solar cells, quantum dot solar cells, and concentrating photovoltaics that could further increase efficiency. As technology progresses, solar panels will convert a greater portion of sunlight into renewable energy.

Federal Tax Credits

The federal government offers generous tax credits and incentives to homeowners who install solar panel systems. This is done in an effort to encourage more people to go solar and reap the benefits for both the environment and energy independence.

There are two main federal tax credits available:

  • The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) – This provides a 26% tax credit for systems installed in 2020-2022, and 22% after 2022. There is no cap on the credit.
  • The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit – This provides a tax credit on solar systems installed on existing homes. The credit is 26% of costs for 2020-2022, and 22% after 2022.

To claim these credits, you must own the solar system rather than lease it. The credit applies to both the cost of the solar panels and the installation. There are no limits, so those who install larger systems can maximize their tax savings.

These generous federal credits can cover nearly a quarter to over a quarter of the total costs of going solar. The tax savings make installing solar panels affordable and within reach for more American homeowners.


In conclusion, solar power provides numerous benefits over conventional energy sources. By harnessing the limitless power of the sun, solar energy is a clean, renewable option that produces no greenhouse gas emissions. The falling costs of solar panels and installation makes solar power extremely affordable, allowing households and businesses to realize significant cost savings on their energy bills. Reliance on solar energy also promotes energy independence by reducing dependence on finite fossil fuels prone to price volatility. The solar industry is rapidly expanding as well, creating new jobs and economic growth across the country. Solar power systems have low maintenance needs and are becoming increasingly more efficient. Homeowners can also take advantage of generous federal tax credits to help offset the costs of going solar. For all these reasons, solar power is quite simply the better energy choice for our future.

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