Solar power is a vast, free and renewable resource that can be used to produce electricity. Solar-generated electricity produces no greenhouse gases or emissions of any kind. Solar energy is a commercially-proven, rapidly growing form of electricity generation. There are numerous advantages to using the sun to produce electricity.
It’s renewable. Solar photovoltaics (PV) use a renewable, non-depletable, and non-polluting fuel – sunlight to produce electricity.
It promotes national security and energy independence. Solar energy does not require import of fuels from overseas. The fuel—sunlight—cannot be embargoed and it’s free.
It has fewer environmental impacts than fossil fuel or nuclear power plants. PV systems create no pollution and generate no waste products when operating. No mining or transportation of fossil fuels are required to generate electricity from the sun.
It’s a source of peak power. Electricity is most valuable when it is delivered at the times of highest demand. In most parts of the country, peak demand occurs during the hottest days of the summer.
This is exactly when PV projects produce the most power.
It’s a proven technology and growing rapidly in the U.S. and worldwide. Photovoltaics were invented in 1954, and their performance and operating characteristics are well understood. There are more than 40,000 megawatts (MW) of PV systems operating in the United States, and PV installations continue to grow rapidly each year.
It’s reliable and requires little maintenance. Photovoltaic systems have been operating for more than 50 years. PV systems are reliable, and their maintenance costs are low.
It’s a hedge against fossil fuels’ volatile prices and increasing environmental compliance costs. Because sunlight, the fuel for photovoltaic power projects, is free, there is no uncertainty about fluctuating fuel prices. Because no CO₂ pollutants or waste are generated by PV projects, there are no waste disposal costs or costs to control the emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
It’s quick to install. Utility-scale photovoltaic plants can be built in under one year.