July 5, 2016
As the explosions of fireworks ring in our ears and the taste of burgers is fresh in our mouths, we continue our celebration of the Fourth of July. At Solect, we do this by following our celebration of national independence with a celebration of energy independence through solar!
Energy independence is the goal of reducing U.S. dependence on foreign energy imports, specifically on imported oil and petroleum. Economically, the concept of energy independence is driven by supply and price stability; with a more diverse array of energy sources to draw upon, a country is more secure in these economic considerations. Politically, energy independence allows a country to remain politically flexible in international interactions.
The adoption of solar energy is one way to achieve energy independence, on both a national and an individual level. The more domestic solar energy we use as a country, the less we will need to rely on foreign imports of carbon-based fossil fuels, contributing to greater economic, political, and environmental stability. On an individual level, when a business owner or homeowner decides to go solar, they take energy generation into their own hands becoming their own power provider. This not only reduces costs, it provides electricity security to a business, and contributes to a greener environment.
Energy independence benefits nations and individuals because an independent energy market is a less volatile energy market. The main reason traditional energy prices are so volatile is that the market for fossil fuels like natural gas and oil is constantly fluctuating- limited supplies, high demand, and factors such as unpredictable weather all affect price variance. In recent years, the U.S. has seen a rise in the number of natural gas power plants as old coal and nuclear plants go offline or are retired. In return, natural gas pricing has become incredibly volatile, especially in winter and summer months when energy demand is higher, and suppliers have difficulty meeting demand.
In the summer, especially in a state like Massachusetts, demand for electricity spikes as people use more power to cool their homes and businesses. This jump in demand increases electric supply and delivery cost, as the power infrastructure is used more heavily and the power itself becomes more valuable in the market. Unpredictable rate hikes make it almost impossible to accurately budget for energy cost.
Luckily, there is a way to liberate your business or property from these electric rate hikes; investing in on-site distributed energy generation, such as a solar energy system allows property owners to achieve partial or total energy independence, leading to price stability, reduced energy costs, and participation in a green economy.
The best part is that as more people and businesses embrace energy independence by adopting solar power and other renewable energy sources, the entire market will see the effect; an increase in solar energy produced during peak periods, like a scorching hot summer day, equals decreased demand on the grid, and decreased demand on the grid means lower costs of energy during peak periods. The reality is that solar has the potential to bring the price of energy down for ratepayers across the board.
With widespread adoption of renewables, we can embrace freedom from fossil fuels and traditional carbon-based energy sources that produce greenhouse gases, improving both finances and quality of life for American residents and businesses alike.