Amazing Facts About Solar

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If you break things down, it’s truly amazing to see the capabilities of solar energy. This renewable energy resource is capable of so many different things…just take a look at some of these interesting solar facts:

Solar Radiation

The sun is located about 90 million miles away, yet sunlight reaches the Earth in approximately 10 minutes!
• About 173,000 terawatts (TW) of solar energy hits the Earth non-stop. To put that into perspective, 1 terawatt = 1 trillion watts.
• We measure solar energy in kilowatt-hours.
• In just one square mile, the Earth receives an estimated 1,366 watts of solar radiation.
• 30 percent of all received radiation from the sun gets reflected back to space.
Just 1 minute of sunlight could support the world’s energy demands for an entire year.

Demand for Solar

• Every 3 minutes, someone makes the switch to solar power.

Solar Panels

• Solar panels were first available in 1956. A lot has changed since then.
• The demand for solar energy is booming in the U.S. In the last three years alone, 60 percent of all solar panels were installed.
• Solar equipment lasts a long time. Expect panels to last a few decades.
• Solar panels still collect power on cloudy days. They simply are 10-25% less effective.

Solar as Renewable Energy Resource

• In the U.S. 13 percent of our energy comes from renewable energy resources, like solar.
• Specifically, solar power is currently generating four-tenths of one percent of the energy in the U.S.; yet that number grows every day.
A single home solar system can counterbalance 178 tons of carbon within 30 years.
• Some projections indicate that solar could become the leading global source of electricity by 2050.

Money Savings

Within a 20-year timespan, a solar home can save you around $20,000 on energy expenses.
• There is a 30% Residential Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that has been extended into 2019. It was recently extended—as it was set to expire on December 31, 2016.

Want to learn more about solar power? Explore these different solar myths and frequently asked questions.

Sources:
http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/various-solar-energy-facts.php
http://wilderness.org/blog/10-facts-you-probably-didnt-know-about-solar-energy
http://us.waka-waka.com/solar-energy-facts/

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