As the global push toward sustainable energy gains momentum, solar power stands at the forefront of this transformative movement. There are many sustainable solutions presented by solar energy, the comparative economics against traditional grid power, and the bright future that lies ahead.

In just 10 years, renewable energy’s share of U.S. electricity generation has doubled—from 10% in 2010 to 20% in 2020. Part of the majority of that growth has been in solar energy, which rose at a compound annual growth rate of 84% over the decade. Despite this impressive gain, the pace will have to accelerate significantly for America to achieve its clean energy goals. At the end of 2020, the country had more than 100 GW of solar capacity but needs to add as much as 70 GW to 100 GW per year to decarbonize the power sector between 2035 and 2050.

Most countries are targeting net-zero emissions by 2050, while the U.S. administration supports a goal of emission-free electricity by 2035. Solar energy represents not just a source of renewable power but a comprehensive solution to many of the challenges facing the modern energy landscape. As utility costs continue to rise, driven by factors such as geopolitical uncertainty and inflation, solar power provides a stable, economically sound alternative.

The integration of solar energy within the utility sector is crucial for three key principles: grid stability, carbon reduction, and long-term cost savings. Decentralized solar production lessens the burden on the central grid, bolstering stability and resilience. By transitioning to solar power, we actively diminish our carbon footprint and counteract the impacts of climate change. Furthermore, as conventional energy expenses escalate, solar energy presents a reliable and frequently more economical substitute, paving the way for long-term savings.

Solar Panels Are Not More Expensive Than Grid Power

Contrary to common misconceptions, solar energy has emerged as a financially competitive alternative when juxtaposed with the traditional grid power, especially in states like Arizona, Florida, Texas, and California where utility costs are growing at an exponential rate. It’s no surprise that these states benefit from substantial amounts of sunlight, maximizing solar energy production. Not only that, but there are great local incentives to further reduce costs associated with energy usage, making going solar an attractive option for homeowners in these states. There have also been falling equipment costs associated with going solar due to advancements in technology, which have brought down the cost of solar panels and related equipment. Finally, with energy costs trending upward, solar acts as a safeguard against these increases, locking in savings over time.

Solar power becoming more affordable isn’t just for states with lots of sun. By 2030, solar will make financial sense in nearly every state. This will happen because technology is getting better, laws are supporting it, and people all around the world want clean energy. Better solar panels and ways to store energy are making it cheaper. Plus, because many places are investing in clean energy, solar is becoming more popular, which helps bring down costs. Government rules are also encouraging more people to choose solar, making it easier for regular folks to use.

Cost to Go Solar Remained Stable Despite Inflation

Despite the widespread inflation affecting many aspects of our lives, the cost of transitioning to solar power has managed to remain steady, brought about by several factors. First, solar energy is less affected by the ups and downs of the global economy compared to fossil fuels, thanks to its supply chain independence. Additionally, the ongoing costs of solar systems are minimal once they are installed, serving as a hedge against inflation. Beyond its financial benefits, solar energy aligns with the increasing societal dedication to sustainability, making it a compelling and eco-conscious choice for homeowners.

As we stand on the precipice of a solar revolution, the opportunities and responsibilities are profound. The solar industry must continue to lead with innovation, education, and collaboration in order for us to reach our eco-conscious goals.

The path ahead is bright, but it requires strategic navigation. By embracing the economic and ecological advantages of solar power, we can transform not only our energy landscape but our societal values toward a more sustainable future.

Shelby Elias is co-founder of SOAR Energy.