Good or Bad? The Fever for Solar Power Continues

The "solar tree", a symbol of Gleisdorf, Austria
The “solar tree”, a symbol of Gleisdorf, Austria

Every year, more and more solar panels are added to homes and businesses across the United States. Despite the anti-renewable energy statements made by many, photovoltaic possibilities are opening doors to a great deal of possibilities. As technologies develop and more efficient manufacturing methods are developed, costs continue to decline. However, is greed and personal belief going to stand in the way of innovation yet again? Solar Power Fever is spreading like wildfire and sustainable measures are being implemented for the improvement of humanity. Why is there so much standing in the way of progress?

1. Impeding Innovation – Furman University simply wanted to construct a solar array that could eventually power the entire school proving that photovoltaic technology is a sustainable method of power for virtually any purpose. However, a mandate in South Carolina’s laws prevent Furman from developing any method beyond 100 kilowatts of power for non-residential customers. As a facility as large as Furman University demands a great deal of power, this cap prevents businesses and schools from being completely independent of the power grid. Could this be the proverbial wrench thrown into the gears of innovation? If a locale is able to sustain itself, shouldn’t it be allowed to?

2. Solar Business Ideas – One of the nations largest solar panel installers, SunRun, has secured financing in the amount of $630 million in order to install solar panels on homes across the United States. The idea around this financing is to develop a business model to allow people to essentially lease photovoltaic equipment without having to buy or pay for the installation of solar panels. While the homeowner saves on energy costs, the lease amount ensures a payment to the solar installer. This could be good news to those who want to promote solar energy but don’t have the money for the initial installation.

3. Saving Even More at Walmart – Walmart has just completed its own solar power projects in Maryland with the help of SolarCity. Ten stores, including a couple of Sam’s Clubs, have been fitted to produce 3.1 megawatts of power collectively. Each location is expected to replace five to twenty percent of the locales power usage from the grid. This massive installation project now puts Walmart as a leader of low prices and high sustainability in Maryland.

4. Paying Customers – In Los Angeles, California, the Department of Water and Power proposes to pay customers in order to utilize roof-space to increase the power generated by photovoltaic means. As LA is abundant with flat roof area, DPW wants to invest in 17 projects in order to increase the city’s ability to harness the Sun. California’s current mandate for solar power is to reach one-third of the power created to be from renewable sources state-wide by 2020. This initiative by DPW is estimated to meet 25-percent of LA’s portion to help meet that goal by 2016.

No technology is completely perfect. Even nuclear power can be thwarted by mechanical failures and the human element. As time progresses, more efficient means of harnessing the Sun’s power will be developed. As long as there is a market for such technologies, improvements will always be available. If you have doubts of this, take a look at the progress developed from cellular phones. Does your unit weigh 20 pounds and require a suitcase-sized apparatus to work as it did in the 1980s?

Author Bio:

Ken Myers is the founder of Longhorn Leads, LLC and has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.

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