The United States is a world leader in the usage of solar power (behind Germany, China, Japan, and Italy). Solar energy is popular, relatively cheap, and virtually unlimited. Currently in the U.S., the majority of energy jobs are in oil, natural gas, and solar. The number of solar energy jobs have now surpassed the number of coal jobs.
The transition of the majority of jobs in energy to solar from coal can be accounted for by incentives such as direct tax relief to individual and business consumers of solar and wind energy. These incentives are starting to run dry. It is unclear whether or not this will lead to a set back in renewable energy in the coming years.
Another reason solar might be looking at a decline soon in the United States comes from President Trump himself. On June 1, he pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord, which countries agreed to cut carbon emissions and reduce the threat of climate change. Trump said the country will not be losing jobs or closing factories. Regardless of what he says, the expiration on clean energy tax credits will lead to less demand from consumers, more layoffs, and a decrease in factories for solar panels.
This is not very encouraging considering how much I love solar energy. Assuming solar panels will soon perform at 20% proficiency which they have done in lab tests, we would only need the amount of solar panels that would cover the country of Spain to produce all of the energy used on the entire planet!
Not all of us are in a financial position to install solar panels right now, but if you are, it will be worth it in the long run.
- You will reduce or completely eliminate energy costs!
- In many countries, there are tax credits available to those who install solar panels!
- You will directly cause way less green house gas emissions!
Once I’m no longer living in a dorm, this is something I will definitely be doing and I hope you will too!