Speaking at Hill air force base, President Obama declared the US government’s intention to exploit the opportunities inherent in the growing US solar energy sector to create job opportunities for transitioning military personnel.
Solar energy can energies the economy
With 30% of the US job market consisting of US military veterans and their spouses, Obama hopes that the recently launched ‘Solar-ready vets’ program will help to train and prepare military veterans to enter the solar industry as they return to civilian life. But is the US public ready to go solar? The facts and figures show they are, according to Obama. In his address, Obama noted that the solar energy sector is growing 10 times faster than any other industry in the US.
How is solar energy used today?
Recent improvements in solar energy technology and reduced hardware costs are making solar energy a much more viable money-saving alternative to conventional energy sources than ever before. Solar energy uses include domestic, commercial and industrial power generation and systems are designed to switch to the grid in case of any shortages.
However, battery storage technology has also improved in recent years, allowing some electricity users to become independent of electricity supply from the national grid. In the near future, it is hoped that integration with the grid will be improved allowing solar energy users to sell power back to the grid when excess power is generated.
Advantages of solar energy
- A renewable resource that slows the depletion of fossil fuels.
- A non-polluting alternative to traditional coal-fuelled power generation.
- Saves money by reducing utility bills from day 1.
- Affordable, once-off installation. Solar panels last for 20 – 25 years and inverters last 5-10 years.
Saving money is the primary motivation for going solar
Although solar energy has always been a good way to reduce utility bills, installation costs used to be high enough to make consumers balk at installing solar power – besides – back then, electricity from the grid was cheaper and the economy was booming.
These days, solar cells cost half as much as they did in 2010 according to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and many organizations are offering financing for homeowners that make it possible to pay for the installation of solar energy technology at a lower cost than they would otherwise have paid for electricity from the grid. In other words, despite having solar energy installation costs to pay off, consumers still save money.
Plus, the US federal government is offering tax incentives. Residential property owners who install solar power, can claim back up to 30% of the expenses they incurred in the process.
Solar energy offers more than just job opportunities for vets
Although the welfare of military veterans is close to our hearts, installing solar energy benefits us where we feel it most: in our pocket-books. Small wonder that the solar energy industry in the US is booming!
Image source: Pixabay
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