Solar energy can simply be said to be the radiant heat and light that the sun produces and is harnessed through the use of a variety of technologies that are ever-evolving like photovoltaic, solar heating, solar architecture, thermal energy, artificial photosynthesis, and power plants of molten salt.

Solar energy is one very vital renewable energy source and the technologies of solar energy are widely categorized as either active solar or passive solar based on the manner of capture and distribution of the solar energy and how the solar energy is converted to solar power.

With the constantly growing advancements in technology and industrialization, there will be increased discovery in the applications of solar energy.

Solar energy can pretty much be important in everything it is just that we do not know how to apply it.

Benefits of Solar Energy

• In Energy

• In Capacity and Grid Investment

• Risk & reliability benefits

• In Compliance

• Environment

• Economy

• Inexhaustible Energy

Benefits of Solar Energy Power Generation

Energy generated using solar panels on rooftops of homes and businesses benefits the electric grid.

Not only do solar panels reduce the need for electricity from central power plants, but the integration of distributed clean energy resources can also help create a more modern, resilient, and efficient grid.

Avoided Electricity Cost

Solar energy sent to the grid reduces the amount of electricity that utilities must generate or purchase from power plants.

The value of this avoided electricity consumption is often greatest in the summer months when demand for electricity rises due to increased air conditioning demand and solar energy production is near its peak.

Adding solar energy to the system reduces the need to power up expensive, often inefficient generators that run only a few times a year, or to purchase expensive peak power on wholesale markets, reducing the cost of electricity for all ratepayers.

Reduced Line Losses

Distributed solar energy also reduces the amount of electricity lost as heat as it travels from large, centralized power plants to our sockets.

These losses cause us to generate more electricity than we need, increasing costs for ratepayers.

Rooftop solar PV systems drastically reduce the number of system losses by producing electricity onsite, thereby reducing the amount of electricity transmitted and distributed through the grid.

Solar power is particularly effective in reducing line losses because it reduces demand on grid infrastructure at times when line losses are highest.

Line losses increase with the square of the load on the distribution system, with losses as high as 30 percent during the high-load hours when most solar output is delivered.

Market Price Response

Distributed solar energy also reduces the price of electricity by reducing overall demand on the grid, which can suppress wholesale electricity prices.

In other words, ratepayers not only benefit when utilities must purchase less electricity to satisfy demand, but they also gain because each unit of electricity purchased becomes cheaper.

These demand reduction-induced price effects can represent an important value to ratepayers.

Benefits of Solar Energy Capacity and Grid Investment

Solar Power has a tremendous capacity to generate electricity for the entire world.

We get nearly 175kW of solar energy per sq.

Meter on Earth as per the data.

But we can only convert a fraction of this Energy into solar power.

Renewable energy is providing affordable electricity across the country right now and can help stabilize energy prices in the future.

Although renewable facilities require upfront investments to build, they can then operate at a very low cost (for most clean energy technologies, the "fuel" is free).

As a result, renewable energy prices can be very stable over time.

Moreover, the costs of renewable energy technologies have declined steadily, and are projected to drop even more.

For example, the average price to install solar dropped more than 70 percent between 2010 and 2017.

The cost of generating electricity from wind dropped 66 percent between 2009 and 2016.

Costs will likely decline even further as markets mature and companies increasingly take advantage of economies of scale.

In contrast, fossil fuel prices can vary dramatically and are prone to substantial price swings.

For example, there was a rapid increase in coal prices due to rising global demand before 2008, then a rapid fall after 2008 when global demands declined.

Likewise, natural gas prices have fluctuated greatly since 2000.

Using more renewable energy can lower the prices of and demand for natural gas and coal by increasing competition and diversifying our energy supplies.

And an increased reliance on renewable energy can help protect consumers when fossil fuel prices spike

Avoided Capacity, Transmission, and Distribution Investment

Expanding the amount of electricity we generate from the sun can defer or eliminate the need for new grid capacity investments, particularly because demand for energy from the grid is often highest during the day when the sun is shining.

By reducing overall and peak demand, expanding solar energy production helps ratepayers and utilities avoid the cost of investing in new power plants, transmission and distribution lines, and other forms of electricity infrastructure.

Reduced Need for Ancillary Services

Solar energy may also reduce certain costs of keeping the grid running smoothly, including regulating voltage and reducing the need to keep backup power plants running ("spinning reserve").

Solar energy systems installed with "smart inverters" and other technologies that increase two-way communication with the grid, for example, have the potential to improve grid operation and reduce the need for centralized grid support services.

Without such equipment, solar energy may increase certain grid support costs.

Benefits of Solar Energy Risk and Reliability

Reduced Exposure to Price Volatility

Fossil fuel price volatility has long been a concern for utilities and ratepayers alike, but the risk has become greater as power companies have shifted from coal to natural gas - a fuel with a history of price volatility.

Because solar panels, once installed, do not incur fuel costs, integrating more solar energy capacity onto the electric grid can reduce exposure to sudden swings in the price of fossil fuels or wholesale electricity.

Research has shown that the risk of fuel price volatility is primarily borne by ratepayers, rather than utility shareholders.

Some utilities also engage in fuel price hedging strategies to ensure that a portion of electricity costs are stable.

Solar energy can help ensure price stability, a contribution with financial value for utilities and grid users.

Improved Grid Resiliency and Reliability

Solar panels create a more diverse and geographically dispersed energy portfolio and generate energy close to the point of consumption.

These attributes may help reduce congestion in transmission and distribution systems and create a more reliable griddle prone to central disruptions, power outages, or rolling blackouts.

Benefits of Solar Energy Environmental Compliances

Avoided Environmental Compliances Cost - Adding solar energy to the grid allows local utilities and municipalities to avoid some of the growing costs of compliance with environmental regulations.

Increasing distributed solar energy capacity helps utilities avoid or reduce the costs of installing new technologies to curb air and water pollution or installing renewable energy.

Solar energy also reduces the costs of compliance with regulations on criteria pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides that may be adopted at the state or federal levels.

Benefits of Solar Energy to the Environment

Solar panels provide valuable benefits to society beyond what is addressed by current electricity rates.

Namely, solar energy reduces the need for the extraction, transportation, and combustion of fossil fuels, which impose heavy costs on the environment and public health.

According to a recent report, Climate change has cost the world economy around $440 billion per year over the last 10 years.

Another report found that the world economy will contract by up to 10 percent by the end of the century if climate change continues at its current pace.

These economic losses are the result of extreme weather events, worsened air quality, rising sea levels, and other effects.

Switching from fossil fuels to renewable could help slow down climate change and avoid some of these potential economic losses.

There are many reasons why using more renewable energy and less fossil fuel is beneficial.

It's better for the environment and human health, and it also has many positive economic impacts.

Together, all these benefits create a very compelling argument for investing more in renewable.

Avoid Green House Gas Emissions

In 2017, the electricity sector was responsible for 28 percent of all world greenhouse gas pollution.

The generation of electricity with both coal and natural gas has a substantial climate impact.

Although natural gas is less carbon-intensive than coal at the point of combustion, the process of natural gas extraction and transportation results in vast emissions of methane, a gas that traps approximately 86 times more heat in the atmosphere than the same amount of carbon dioxide over a 20- year time frame.

Research suggests that every metric ton of carbon dioxide released into the air causes $37 of economic and social damage.

In 2017, the World electric power sector emitted more than 2.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to more than $264 billion in economic and social damages.

Solar energy, on the other hand, is renewable and emission-free and avoids the costs of both future damage and future environmental compliance.

Rooftop solar in particular is also fast and flexible to implement, making it an important tool for taking on climate change.

Residential rooftop projects typically take just a few months from initial deposit to power generation.

Distributed solar energy can also be installed in a wide variety of urban settings, including on rooftops and parking lot canopies, making it well-suited for densely populated and energy-intensive regions.

Health Benefits and Avoided Air Pollution

Solar energy reduces emissions of dangerous air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, mercury, and particulate matter that harm public health.

Solar energy production can reduce emissions beyond the level required by environmental regulations, or address environmental and public health threats that are inadequately regulated, providing value such as reduced illness and mortality.

According to a 2018 report, 41 percent of the world lives in a county where air pollution often reaches dangerous levels.

Air pollution is linked to increased incidence of asthma and chronic bronchitis and has also been shown to cause hundreds of thousands of premature deaths per year.

A typical coal-fired power plant without technology to limit emissions sends 170 pounds of mercury - an extremely harmful neurological toxin - into the air each year.

Expanding the nation's ability to source clean electricity from the sun reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, and lessens the number of harmful emissions that flow into the air we breathe.

The air and water pollution emitted by coal and natural gas plants are linked with breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, cancer, premature death, and a host of other serious problems.

Pollution affects everyone.

One Harvard University study estimated the life cycle costs and public health effects of coal to be an estimated $74.6 billion every year.

That's equivalent to 4.36 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced-about one-third of the average electricity rate for a typical home.

Most of these negative health impacts come from air and water pollution that clean energy technologies simply don't produce.

Wind, solar, and hydroelectric systems generate electricity with no associated air pollution emissions.

Geothermal and biomass systems emit some air pollutants, though total air emissions are generally much lower than those of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants.

Biomass and geothermal power plants, like coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, may require water for cooling.

Hydroelectric power plants can disrupt river ecosystems both upstream and downstream from the dam.

However, NREL's 80-percent-by-2050 renewable energy study, which included biomass and geothermal, found that total water consumption and withdrawal would decrease significantly in a future with high renewable.

Avoided Fossil Fuels Lifecycle Cost

The use of solar energy reduces the need for fossil fuels, which impose a steep cost on society not just at the point of combustion, but also during extraction and transportation.

Natural gas drilling uses vast water resources and risks chemical contamination of drinking water.

Coal mining puts coal-worker health at risk and has caused environmental devastation including the loss of thousands of miles of streams.

Burning coal generates millions of tons of coal ash that are often stored on-site at power plants, threatening groundwater and occasionally resulting in catastrophic spills.

And thermoelectric power plants - coal, natural gas, and nuclear - require water for cooling, and can have adverse effects on water resources and ecosystems

Benefits to the Economy

Local Jobs and Businesses - The solar energy industry has created thousands of new jobs and businesses across the nation.

As of November 2017, the solar energy industry employed more than 25, 00,000 people, a 168 percent increase from 2010.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that solar installation jobs will be the nation's fastest-growing occupation in terms of total employment through 2026.

There are more than 5, 00,000 solar companies in the world, and in 2017 the solar industry generated $100 billion of investment in the world economy.

Because rooftop solar installations take place in our communities, they generate local spending and opportunities for local businesses and serve as visible reminders of the local economic benefits of clean energy.

Inexhaustible Energy

Strong winds, sunny skies, abundant plant matter, heat from the earth, and fast-moving water can each provide a vast and constantly replenished supply of energy.

A relatively small fraction of electricity currently comes from these sources, but that could change.

Studies have repeatedly shown that renewable energy can provide a significant share of future electricity needs, even after accounting for potential constraints.

A major government-sponsored study found that clean energy could contribute somewhere between three and 80 times its 2013 levels, depending on assumptions.

And the previously mentioned NREL study found that renewable energy could comfortably provide up to 80 percent of world electricity by 2050.

Benefits of Solar Energy Conclusion

Solar power is the most popular type of alternate electricity source that can be easily installed in your home.

It is a reliable and sustainable power resource that when channelized can run any and every device in your home.

There has never been a better time to invest in solar energy, with the national and international agencies committed to promoting solar power, providing subsidies, and setting renewable energy targets for India and the world.

Because of its economic and environmental benefits, homeowners investing in Solar Power are the most sustainable solution for all your electricity concerns.

Invest today in your solar rooftop system for more savings, better service, and an improved lifestyle!

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