If you’re considering solar power for your non-profit, you’re probably on board with taking a big-picture approach. You’re interested in doing things for the future of the planet and for the greater benefit. Now, anyone who uses solar power reaps individual benefits, but in so doing, you’re also able to bring about other, larger benefits, some of which may not be obvious.
Solar panels have positive effects beyond inexpensive power for the building on which they sit. They help society at large through cascading effects that are put into play when anyone in the community installs them.
Sunshine and Demand
One of the reasons you’re interested in solar power is the savings you’ve been promised. That couldn’t be more true. But what you may not know is that the use of solar power leads to a reduction in the price of power in general.
It’s a matter of supply and demand. The company that supplies the general public with electricity buys from power plants on the wholesale electricity market. If you use, say, your air conditioner, at three or four o’clock you’re paying a higher rate for that electricity than you would at other times. This is due to the fact that more people will be using air conditioners at that time (more energy is used near midday than at other times), which creates an advantage to suppliers. Using solar power contributes to the supply of electricity, bringing prices down a bit.
In general, an electric grid with solar power contributing to it is stronger and more secure.
A Good Investment
Whether you’re looking for investors in a solar project or are considering making an investment, it’s important for you to know that solar panels are an outstanding investment. They usually come with long-term performance guarantees (20 years or so) and usually last about 35 years.
Electricity generated from solar panels doesn’t fluctuate in value like that sold on the wholesale electricity market. It’s easy to calculate the amount of electricity generated for a fixed period of times. This is what makes it such a secure investment.
Radiating Into all Areas
The rays of benefits from solar energy make it to the far reaches of any community. In 2008, Massachusetts signed the Green Communities Act. This allowed generators of solar energy to sell energy back to the grid and created incentives for going solar. The city of Duxbury is turning a capped landfill into a solar farm, and throughout the region, thousands of jobs in the solar industry have been created.
Solar energy is an industry in which relatively largescale adoption is the most beneficial.
The good news is that according to the 2013 report U.S. Solar Market Insight, from the Solar Energy Industries Association, the last 18 months’ worth of solar installations surpassed those of the previous 30 years. And California leads the nation in these installations.
The benefits of solar will cascade with more and more adoptions. The use of solar power can heal society as a whole, and if you take steps toward implementing it you’ll be doing your part, which is all any of us can do.