Since the 1700s, technological developments have stimulated economic growth and improved quality of life. Conventional electricity introduced the world to modern energy and it single-handedly caused a 125% increase in energy usage worldwide. But conventional energy requires consumption of finite resources, which is not sustainable. This dilemma sparked the growth of alternative forms of electricity, including solar energy. Solar energy became widespread in the 1970s during the oil crisis, and it's now a fixture on the US and global energy scene. Today, solar is the most popular form of renewable energy in the world, and it's used to power homes, buildings and entire communities.
Each year, the sun produces enough electricity to meet the world's energy needs without having to use fossil fuels. Energy from the sun is collected and channeled into homes and businesses. It's either converted to electricity through solar photovoltaics, which uses solar panels, or it's used to make hot water, which is called solar thermal energy. A solar power company can help you decide which type of technology to use. Both have advantages and they are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while saving money at the same time. In the United States, there is over 50 MW of solar electricity installed. Each year, this amounts to a tremendous improvement in the environment, as it offsets the greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 10 passenger cars, the equivalent of driving 91,000 miles, and equates to 13 tons of waste products being recycled instead of deposited in the landfill. It also saves 40,000 pounds of coal from burning! Homeowners who go solar benefit from significant cost savings and a clean supply of energy. Businesses enjoy the same benefits and they also get a favorable reputation when customers and peers see that they support a clean environment.
Today, solar technology is an evolving field that is rapidly expanding to other areas. It was part of the great US-Russia Space Race and it's being used for even more space expeditions. Solar technology is also being adapted to popular forms of transportation, including boats, planes, trains and buses. You can thank the work of researchers and every solar power company, as they all play an important role in expanding solar's potential and popularity. With more solar being installed each day, imagine the cost savings, environmental improvement and energy security that wait down the road.