While renewable energy has come a long way, the fact is that most of us still do not own our own power. There are many reasons for this: maybe you don’t own your home, or maybe you live in a forest. Perhaps you want to wait and see if prices drop, or if technology improves.
“Checking out Renewable Energy? Yeah, it’s on our To-Do List.”
What many of us take for granted is that options (that benefit us) do exist. We fall into habits, and honestly, changing stuff just feels like too much effort sometimes. Some of us may know someone who got solar panels, and we’re curious to know more. But then we have to actually remember to research. And the kids just started soccer, and they have so much more homework this year, so maybe we’ll check it out later.
“Renewable Energy isn’t that Important.”
It’s so easy to put things off. That’s what we love about it, right? It’s easy! Just getting through life every day feels like enough of an accomplishment sometimes.
It is also easy to put off the big things, because we get so caught up in the little things. Renewable energy sounds great, but your electric bill isn’t that big. If it was a lot more expensive, that would be one thing, but it’s mostly manageable, except maybe January and August.
Have you ever wished that you didn’t have so many choices? Does it ever feel like things would be simpler if we didn’t have so darn many options? Just deciding what to have for dinner every single day is enough of a chore.
So what if…there was no Renewable Energy?
Let’s imagine, then, what would happen if we didn’t have energy options. Some of us remember when this was the case. We didn’t have the option to convert to solar energy, or wind energy. Heat pumps weren’t a thing. We simply paid our electric bill every month. If we were lucky, we had a fireplace, or an attic fan. Those helped a little. We only had three channels on the television, and forget having a remote control. Microwaves were brand-new, and so expensive. If we were lucky, we had a window air-conditioning unit in the living room.
So let’s imagine that we only had one choice: to pay the electric bill every month, or to get shut off for non-payment. The difference is that we have all the modern-day amenities. We have devices plugged in and charging all the time. We have the microwave, Keurig, laptops, desktop, tablets, Netflix, satellite television, industrial-sized refrigerator, central heat and air, and no energy efficient upgrades.
Our electric bill goes up every year, and we have no say in rate increases. Our kids become teenagers, and don’t listen to a thing you say. They leave their computers on all the time, and the lights on in every room in the house. They never unplug anything.
And the electric bill keeps climbing. You yell until you’re blue in the face, but it does no good. You’re paying a few hundred dollars per month to the utility company. Then a little more. Then a little more.
Everyone else is in the same boat. Resources are limited, and with demand so high, rate hikes happen more frequently. You start to conserve. Coupons become your life. That new car purchase gets put off one year, then two. You take an inventory of everything you own that requires electricity, and then start eliminating. Spending time in the house begins to cause you anxiety.
Because prices are so high everywhere, cost increases begin, then continue.
Resources become more limited, and mandates to conserve power start popping up.
There is no end in sight.
But There ARE Options. Renewable Energy DOES Exist.
Not only does renewable energy exist, but its effects are far-reaching.
The best part? It’s absolutely free to find out how much money you can save, and there is no obligation to move forward. Whether you check into your options or not, though, just remember that you can have energy freedom…and freedom is a great thing.
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Sure, we all know that solar energy is a thing, just as we’re familiar with wind energy or natural gas being things. But the SCIENCE behind it seems like, well, like not that much fun to study. Like, the sun hits the panels and then turns into magic, right? And your electric bill is cheaper?
Since studying is NEVER fun on the weekend, today we’re going to take a walk on the lighter side of the sun. May is coming, the clouds will soon part, so WHY NOT serve up some good, old-fashioned fun facts!? Bonus: these are easy to remember, so you can wow your friends at parties!
FUN FACT 1. IT TAKES SUNLIGHT ABOUT EIGHT MINUTES TO REACH THE EARTH
The sun is one million times larger than planet Earth, and must travel 93 million miles to reach the earth’s surface. When moving at the speed of light, sunlight takes just over eight minutes to travel this distance.
FUN FACT 2. THE EARTH WILL NEVER RUN OUT OF SOLAR ENERGY
Sun is termed a renewable source of energy because it will never become depleted as time passes. Fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and gas, are not considered to be renewable energy sources because we only have so much of them available on the planet. This means they will eventually run out.
FUN FACT 3. JUST ONE DAY OF SUNLIGHT CAN SATISFY THE EARTH’S ENERGY NEEDS FOR ALMOST THREE DECADES
The amount of energy consumed throughout the world, over the course of 27 years, equals only one full day’s worth of sun energy. To break it down further, the amount of solar energy that reaches the earth’s surface in just 40 minutes is equal to the world’s total annual energy consumption!
FUN FACT 4. THE FIRST SILICON SOLAR CELL, OR PRECURSOR OF ALL SOLAR-POWERED DEVICES, WAS BUILT BY BELL LABORATORIES IN 1954
However, photovoltaic energy (aka. solar cells) started way back in 1876. William Grylls Adams and his student, Richard Day, discovered that when selenium was exposed to light, it produced electricity. An electricity expert, Werner von Siemens, stated that the discovery was “scientifically of the most far-reaching importance.” Although the selenium cells were not efficient, it was proven that light, without heat or moving parts, could be converted into electricity.
FUN FACT 5: THE COST OF SOLAR PANELS HAS DROPPED BY 80% SINCE 2008
What other big-ticket item has that kind of drop, particularly when the alternative is paying ever-increasing electric bills?
So there you have it: crazy true science to make you sound like a renewable energy aficionado just in time to wow the summer barbecue crowd!