Solar power is one of the most amazing technologies at our disposal today. Here are 7 amazing facts about solar power and it’s potential.
Solar power. It’s fascinating, right? It’s becoming more popular too, with solar energy in the US growing by an average of 49% each year across the last decade
There’s a lot to learn about solar power, including things you probably wouldn’t expect. If you’d like to find out our top seven facts about solar power, keep reading below!
1. First Solar Power Cell Invented in 1941
You might associate solar energy with modern eco-friendly movements, but the very first solar power cell was actually invented almost 80 years ago, by Russell Ohl in 1941.
Thirteen years later, Bell Laboratories released the first commercial solar paneling.
2. Panels Can Last Over 40 Years
When a plant is built, there’s usually a 20- to 25-year warranty offered by solar power companies. However, solar panels can last for over 40 years.
Meanwhile, it’s affordable to replace solar panels if necessary, improving the performance of the plant and prolonging its lifespan.
3. California Leads the Way in the US
The Golden State really love their solar technology, with over 20,000 megawatts of solar energy use. They have enough solar energy to power a whopping 3.7 million homes.
States that come close to California include nearby Arizona and Nevada, but they won’t be replacing the Golden State at the top of the rankings any time soon.
4. The US Is Second-Largest Worldwide Market
Although renewable energy sources are increasing in popularity in the US, it’s still the second-largest market for solar power, behind China. However, it was the third-largest just a few years ago, so expect to see the US market increase further, as well as the worldwide market as a whole.
5. Panels Produce 10 Kilowatts of Energy per Square Foot
We measure solar power by kilowatts hours (kWh). Most solar panels have capacities of around 225 watts and can generate ten kilowatts of energy per square foot.
As a result, the typical home needs around 30 solar panels to meet its needs. That’s definitely achievable, and won’t cost you too much money either!
6. Costs Have Fallen Sharply
A little over 40 years ago, a solar cell would set you back around $77 per watt. However, in 2017, a solar cell cost around $0.21 per watt, with a whole assembled module being around $0.39 per watt.
Solar energy is also a lot cheaper than fossil fuels, so it’s a great option to consider as an alternative to these non-renewable sources.
7. Direct Sunlight Isn’t Needed
Despite what you might think, solar panels don’t need direct sunlight to power your home! The way solar panels work is by capturing different areas of the sun’s light, so even if it’s a little cloudy, your panels will collect light reflected from the sky and produce power with it.
Want to Learn More Facts About Solar Power?
Solar power can be a fascinating topic to explore, and there are so many more facts about solar power to find out. If you’re considered using solar power, or simply want to learn more, you should go ahead and dive in!
If you’d like to read more about improving your home — whether by using solar panels or other means — check out some of our other posts.