On this 2011 summer solstice (the longest day of the year) in the Northern Hemisphere, I thought I’d break out of my normal, obsessive news coverage and commentary tendency to step back and reflect a little more than usual. Here on CleanTechnica, that means reflecting on the clear benefits of solar energy and the clear question I think anyone not yet hooked up to solar could be asking themselves, reflecting on today….
Am I taking advantage of the sun yet?
Taking advantage of people, of course, isn’t something one do. But taking advantage of the sun is beneficial for all (almost all, I should say, since I should remember that there are a few billionaire coal executives and higher-ups in the nuclear industry who might lose a few dollars from a true solar revolution).
A few short reasons on why NOW is a good time go solar:
- Incentives: If you read CleanTechnica regularly, you know that solar costs have been dropping for years, have already dropped a lot this year, and are expected to continue dropping for years to come. (Check out Solar Power Graphs to Make You Smile for more on that.) Solar technology efficiency records are being set continuously, manufacturing processes are being improved, different technologies are being developed, and so on. So, from this, you may think that it’s better to wait to go solar, you’ll be able to get a better deal in a few years. Well, maybe, maybe not. Right now, there are some pretty tremendous solar power incentives offered by local, state, and national governments. These incentives make solar super cheap already. Who knows how long these will last? They could be gone in a few years.
- Savings vs savings: Even assuming you could ‘save’ some money by waiting awhile longer to go solar, there’s another issue that comes up. Would you be saving as much as you are currently losing by not having solar panels on your home or business? Something to think about and calculate.
- Innovative solar buying options: From solar group discounts to to community solar gardens to solar leasing, a lot of innovative ways to go solar have popped onto the market in recent years. There are some great options out there for people in a variety of different situations with a variety of different needs. While you may not be in an ideal position for purchasing your own solar system, I imagine one of these could really pay off for you.
On this summer solstice, while the Northern Hemisphere is bathing in sunshine more than any other time of the year, you might consider tapping into that clean energy source for some of your electricity or hot water needs.
Photo via e³°°°
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on your favorite social network, go to: zacharyshahan.com