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