Facts about Solar Energy Supply and Demand
- The earth receives more energy from the sun in just one hour than the world uses in a whole year.
- The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth’s non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.
- Globally, 6.4 gigawatts of new solar energy were added in 2009.
- Germany is currently the world’s leading market for solar panels, while China is the biggest manufacturer. In the U.S., California is the largest market.
- Solar power installations in the U.S. increased 37% in 2009.
Facts about Solar technology
- The first solar cell was created in the 1800s; the modern silicon cell was created in the 1950s.
- Silicon cell technology takes up about 80% of the solar market, with thin-film cells making up the rest.
- Thin film PV cells are less expensive and less fragile, but they’re also less efficient.
- A typical solar panel produces about 200 watts of electricity.
- Solar hot water systems were first used in the late 1800s, and became more popular after the 1973 oil crisis.
Facts about Solar economics
- For each $1 you save in electric costs annually, your home jumps up $20 in value, according to a study from the Appraisal Institute
- Renewable Energy Credits can earn you money from your panels. In New Jersey, you can earn your initial investment in solar panels back in about 4 years AND get paid more than $5,000 per year for the SRECs your system produces. Over 15 years that works out to an 10.1% annual return on your investment.
- The Federal Solar Tax Credit can help you recoup 30% of the out-of-pocket cost of your solar system.
- Purchasing solar panels through PURE can save you 15%.
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