When you think of solar energy your mind might conjure up images of quiet suburban neighbourhoods with a smattering of rooftop panels, but solar energy features heavily in some of our biggest cities as well. From Los Angeles to New York, businesses and homeowners, and even municipal bodies, are embracing the power of solar energy as a sustainable, cost-efficient energy source. A city is a living, breathing organism, and the introduction and implementation of solar projects can breathe new life in a number of ways.
#1 - Creates Jobs
Over the past couple of decades, the renewable energy industry has been a real driving force in bolstering employment figures. Even during the harsh economic downturn of 2008, as many industries across the US and the world were decimated, employment in the clean energy sector maintained a healthy growth rate. This growth continues ten years later and the amount of solar workers in the United States numbers over 200,000!
As city looks towards renewable energy solutions, and solar in particular, it is inevitable that labour will be required to carry out new projects and plans. With the industry offering interesting, rewarding work and a healthy rate of payment, the creation of jobs can be a real benefit of a city pursuing solar.
#2 - Helps Low Income Residents
Virtually everyone has to factor an electricity bill into their monthly expenditure and it’s been shown that electric bills affect lower income homes disproportionately. With electricity bills taking a chunk out of incomes every month, a push for more cost-efficient energy projects for lower income residences can make a real difference. When housing developments, apartment blocks, and other communities work toward sustainable energy solutions this can result in lower cost housing, more stable rents, and less daunting electric bills.
#3 - Saves Money
Solar implementation for a city can save money via a number of different channels, with these savings then available for the betterment of the locality as a whole. The cost-efficient nature of renewable energy systems, particularly solar panel installations, will lead to savings on municipal electric bills. These savings can then be redirected in order to benefit development projects in different areas of local government. An initial investment in solar projects can be beneficial to city budgets further down the line.
#4 - Hits Environmental Targets
Generating the power necessary for a city to function is no mean feat, and the resultant pollution from the use of more conventional energy sources can be detrimental to the local environment and, indeed, the global climate. If a city generates its energy from a renewable source, like solar, this can help reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful toxins, meaning cleaner air for the city and a cleaner bill of health for its population. This can link back to solar as a money saver as well, a healthier public means less expenditure on health services and therefore economic improvement down the line.
#5 - Lowers Business Costs
Continuing with the economic theme, the implementation of solar energy can be a real shot in the arm for local and national businesses throughout cities as well. The same kinds of savings applicable to residential owners of solar panel installations can be applied to commercial entities and scaled up proportionately. These savings can allow for lower costs and greater profit margins for businesses. In turn, this can lead to benefits for consumers in the shape of improved products/services and even lower prices. It’s clear that solar can be a vital cog in the engine of the local economy, pushing cities toward prosperity.