Solar Energy Beyond the Home Front


Acquiring solar panels for your home or business can often have extremely positive financial repercussions. Taking this simple step can not only reduce your overall energy spend per month by a substantial amount, but may also incur tax subsidies and help to improve your overall energy efficiency, saving the environment as well as saving you money. The increasing efficiency and utility of solar energy makes it a difficult force to ignore in the modern power market. And its effects are not only being felt in the domestic and private sectors. In the public sector, solar has made an even bigger impact, and its uses in the developing world – where many countries have jumped straight into solar from nothing where oil pipelines and coal resources have been traditionally unavailable – its transformative powers have been truly remarkable. Let’s have a look at some of the most exciting examples.


The American public sector has begun to pick up solar energy in a number of areas, with numerous school districts and universities leading the charge in adopting renewables. The California Solar Schools Program, a $4.5 million initiative which has brought solar power to over 75 schools in the state. Other notable adopters include Stanford University, which has also replaced part of its energy portfolio with wind power as part of a commitment to sustainability. Beyond education, a number of municipal districts and cities have been investing heavily in solar power in order to put a dent in the rising cost of energy consumption from conventional sources. As part of a unified commitment to renewable energy usage, several major California cities have adopted solar power for local public amenities, including Sacramento, San José, and San Diego. California is not the only state to be taking this direction for its public energy needs, with cities in Connecticut and Oregon also adopting solar to power their public amenities.


Outside of the US, solar has been employed in a number of initiatives that are testament to its huge versatility and scope. For instance, over two million people in the developing world currently drink water which has been either disinfected or desalinated via solar powered facilities, and the World Health Organisation is currently pushing for this number to be expanded. These methods are especially useful in those countries in which conventional energy sources are difficult to come by, and have been most enthusiastically adopted in extremely remote rural areas. In the future, the more rapid adoption of solar and other renewable energy sources in such locations is projected to play a major role in reducing world carbon emissions by radically reducing the need for coal, oil, and natural gas as remote areas become more connected and demand greater electricity consumption.


With public services at home and abroad – not to mention an increasingly large number of huge private companies, such as the international supergiant Walmart – adopting solar at such a rapid rate, it is inevitable that solar will play as important a role in the future of our energy consumption as conventional sources, as predicted by the International Energy Agency. This news should only encourage you to make the jump on the domestic level, because if all of these huge organisations have been willing to place their trust in solar, it’s probably going to work for you, too.