The sun, that nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma at the center of our solar system, is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old. It's also estimated that the sun will be around for at least another 4.5 billion years, so from a human perspective, it isn't much of an exaggeration to say that the sun is eternal. We have known, long before we possessed the science to prove it, that our sun is the powerhouse of all life on earth and that without it humans wouldn't exist. But only very recently in our history have we discovered that the sun's energy could be harnessed and used to power our homes, businesses, vehicles, appliances, and so much more.
The sun's power is continuous, unfailing, and free for the taking. Unlike fossil fuels, we don't diminish the sun's resources by drawing energy from it. And the cost of converting solar power to solar energy has not only become vastly less expensive in just the past few decades, it continues to become less costly with no end in sight. But how does solar actually benefit us as consumers? Nicki Zvik, Founder of Green Solar Technologies GST) and renewable energy advocate, breaks it down.
"Possibly the most attractive aspect of going solar from a consumer standpoint is that it's beneficial financially," says Zvik. "Over time, those who install a solar energy system on their home could see savings upwards of $20,000 on their electricity bills due to the simple fact that the energy provided from the sun is free of cost unlike fossil fuels, whose costs continue to rise. And with virtually free electricity, the systems end up paying for themselves in as little as five years."
Zvik continues, mentioning that solar systems are also a lucrative investment when it comes to selling a home. "In general, the average system can add thousands to the value of a home. This is because people everywhere are looking to go solar, so when purchasing a home, many see a solar energy system already installed as a huge bonus and are willing to pay more so that they can save more in the future. Not to mention, many cities and even states have goals to become 100% clean meaning that in time homes will be required to be built with solar panels, so this gives buyers a head-start on the trend," he states.
But aside from the financial benefits, a more virtuous benefit of going solar is its positive impact on our planet's environment.
"Fossil fuels are dangerous to us and the living things around us. The process of obtaining these fuels by mining or drilling can cause long-term health issues for the people involved and certainly have negative effects on our ecosystems," states Nicki Zvik. "But more than that, the carbon emitted into the air from fossil fuels is extremely damaging to our atmosphere and harmful for us to breathe."
Zvik wraps up by discussing the imminent danger of climate change and how solar can help to prevent the progression of climate change and even reverse some of the damage that has already been done.
"I've talked before about how climate change is possibly the biggest threat to life as we know it, and I stand by that," he states. "Climate change affects all forms of life on Earth. We continue to see a steady rise in the world's temperature with no signs of slowing down, and this is affecting much more than just our polar ice caps. Fortunately, we have the ability to change this devastating trend. Solar energy has the power to reverse the global warming problem we're facing. By eliminating the carbon we pump into the air and allowing the Earth's atmosphere to thrive the way it's meant to, we can avoid disaster and restore the quality of life that has been diminishing for so long."