The Decline of Coal
The US has slowly been moving away from coal: over the past decade, US coal power production has dropped by 44%. The harmful effects of burning coal and are well documented, so reducing coal power bodes well for both human and environmental health. As we use less and less coal energy, it’s important that we replace it with an energy source that’s safe. Renewable energy has proven to be reliable, predictable, and most of all, clean.
What Are My Options?
People have been using less coal, opting for natural gas or renewable energy instead. Natural gas is often considered a “bridge fuel” between coal and renewables. This is because it’s thought to be cleaner than coal, but cheaper than renewable energy. Neither of these ideas holds true. Burning natural gas may produce less carbon than burning coal, but extracting natural gas causes a lot of problems that negate the benefits of cleaner burning. And while natural gas prices tend to be unpredictable, the price of photovoltaic (PV) systems have been consistently decreasing for the past 40 years.
You Can Rely on Solar
Solar energy is an excellent way to decrease your carbon footprint, and it’s only getting better. Energy prices reflect this point:
The top row of graphs shows the price of residential and non-residential PV systems from 2000-2016 (the black line represents the median price, and the colored region shows the 20th-80th percentile range). The lower graph shows the price of natural gas over the same time period. Comparing the two side-by-side drives home the point that while solar energy is steadily and predictably becoming cheaper, natural gas is subject to dramatic price fluctuations, and it’s hard to guess where it’s going to go next. If we’re looking for energy to replace coal, solar energy is an optimal choice: it will only get more affordable with time.
Benefits of Batteries
As solar energy has developed, battery storage has developed right alongside it. As great as solar energy and battery storage are on their own, they’re even better together. In some cases, systems using both renewable energy and batteries can be cheaper than natural gas.
Batteries are working their way into residential solar; Tesla Powerwall gives homeowners the ability to store the energy they produce and use it later, promoting energy independence and minimizing reliance on the grid. Powerwall is the future of home energy. It is a whole home battery that allows you to use the solar energy produced during the day after the sun goes down. It also lets you control how much of your electricity comes from renewable resources. Powerwall can be used for important devices that require a constant power supply like medical equipment, security systems, refrigerators, and other critical devices. Tesla Powerwall 2 allows your solar system to work when your utility grid is down, giving you complete off-grid capabilities. And just like PV systems, solar batteries costs are dropping. The average battery price in 2019 is expected to be 83% lower than the prices in 2017: with price drops like those, the future of solar batteries looks bright.
You Help Solar and Solar Helps You
Prices aren’t the only reliable factor in solar. RevoluSun’s best-selling PV systems, SunPower and Panasonic, are covered under a 25-year warranty. That’s 25+ years of price security, of clean energy that you produce yourself, of freedom from the unpredictable price changes associated with fossil fuels like natural gas. Over those 25 years, you’ll save at least 200,000 pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. Whether you’re considering going solar or you’re already enjoying a PV system of your own, the stability of solar energy has a lot to offer you. For a free, personalized assessment of how solar energy can benefit you, call us at 781-348-6496 today!
Berkeley Lab reports latest installed solar price trends https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2017/09/berkeley-lab-reports-latest-installed-solar-price-trends/
Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy http://www.solarresourceguide.org/solar-environmental-benefits/
Environmental Impacts of Natural Gas https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/coal-and-other-fossil-fuels/environmental-impacts-of-natural-gas#.WqLujujwY2y
How much does solar storage cost? Understanding solar battery prices https://www.energysage.com/solar/solar-energy-storage/what-do-solar-batteries-cost/
Natural gas killed coal– now renewables and batteries are taking over | The Guardian https://amp-theguardian-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/jan/29/natural-gas-killed-coal-now-renewables-and-batteries-are-taking-over
Natural Gas Really Is Better Than Coal https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/natural-gas-really-better-coal-180949739/
Natural Gas Prices– Historical Chart http://www.macrotrends.net/2478/natural-gas-prices-historical-chart
Study finds that storage prices are falling faster than PV and wind technologies https://www.pv-magazine.com/2017/07/31/study-finds-that-storage-prices-are-falling-faster-than-pv-and-wind-technologies/
Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels | Bloomberg https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-06/wind-and-solar-are-crushing-fossil-fuels