Solar energy’s success depends on its business model as much as its photovoltaic cells. Despite the challenges of 2020 and the global pandemic, U.S. solar installations achieved record levels and the Energy Information Administration expects 2021 to far exceed these levels, with solar accounting for 39% of all new electricity generation capacity in 2021, surpassing wind for the first time.
While Utility-scale solar is cheaper than rooftop solar, rooftop is more likely to make a bigger difference in our energy mix and in decreasing carbon emissions because it is easier to install in small pieces. It also doesn’t kill birds, take up miles of pristine land in the Mojave, or require billions of dollars in financing. And it doesn’t stress the grid as much.
Logistically, rooftop solar is just easier. There are over 170 billion square feet of residential rooftops in America, about a third of which is facing the right direction. No need to take more space away from Nature. New rooftop solar emplaced during new builds also amortizes the cost to the point that the homeowner would barely notice it.
Written by James Conca
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