With the increasing climate crisis, an attempt to bring the world to net zero is essential. To accomplish this, the use of renewable energy is advisable. Renewable energy sources are fastly growing and in high demand at the moment.
As a result, solar energy is widely used as a power source in America, accounting for almost 40% of electricity generating capacity. Statistics have shown that the use of solar energy will multiply over the coming years. Thus, the ultimate question is how many solar panels would you need to power the United States.
Why Use Solar Energy?
In recent years, the use of solar energy has tremendously increased for many reasons. Below are some of the benefits of solar energy and the reason for its popularity.
Quick To Install
The installation of solar panels is as easy as ever. With the introduction of new innovative technologies and techniques, the whole installation process is accessible. It can be done quickly in a few days. A PV system is seen to be installed almost every minute in the United States.
Low Maintenance And Safe To Use
One unique characteristic of solar energy that distinguishes it from other power sources is that they are easy to maintain. They run on minimal maintenance and are incredibly safe and silent when appropriately used.
Decreased Electricity Costs
The last decade or so witnessed the depletion in the cost of solar panels. Now, it is cost-effective technology and can be conveniently accessed in every state of the US. Moreover, they don’t emit any greenhouse gasses. Therefore, unlike fossil fuels, solar energy is unlimited and exceptionally safe.
Best For Environment
Solar energy is the epitome of financial and practical investment that is best for the environment. It eliminates almost one to two pounds of greenhouse gas emissions produced by fossil fuels.
Excellent Investment For The Future
The production of solar energy is the fastest-growing sector in the world right at the moment. Additionally, there is a massive chance of new opportunities and careers opened for professionals in the field. Further, solar energy is an excellent investment for each home as it returns a value of $15000 on average.
Demand Of Solar Energy In The USA
The general use of solar energy in America is due to its affordability and accessibility. The last couple of years observed a great deal of decline in the price of solar PV panels, up to 70%.
Currently, most states are seeing a rapid growth of solar energy in the market as it is cost-effective and conventional to use by anyone. And if the potential of using solar energy is measured, the quantity is undoubtedly surprising. The PV panels installed in the area of 22,000 square miles will be enough to supply power for the whole of America.
The estimated data provided mentions that by the year 2030, there will be an exceptional amount of installations of solar panels on the rooftop. With the impact of no land use, it is expected that one out of seven homes in the USA will have a rooftop solar PV system.
With all these progress and innovations, the job sector will provide tremendous opportunities. The United States now has a job growth of more than five times more than in the past decade.
That being said, solar energy is not at its full potential level, and more work needs to be done for the future. The consistent implementation of technological aspects and high-quality marketing is necessary to use efficient solar energy and enable required utilities.
Amount Of Solar Panels Required To Power America
Every year, almost 4000 billion kWh of electricity is consumed by users in America. This vast amount is certainly not small and comes with severe after-effects. It can be assumed that each house in the USA utilizes 12000 kWh annually. Subsequently, no oil will be left for consumption, and here is how solar energy plays a role.
By using solar energy in the right way, the energy needs of each household can be supported with no worries. The requirements for the total amount of solar panels depend on the energy consumed per day and the energy produced by one solar panel per day.
As we mentioned earlier, 12000 kWh per year is used by each person in the States. This means 33 kWh per day is spent in total for the entire country. In terms of electricity production, each domestic solar panel system contributes 1-4 kW per hour. Along with this data, it should also be realized that solar panels cannot produce energy for 24 hours due to the absence of sunlight.
The average sunlight received by people in America is 4 hours per day. And within this 4-hour schedule, the solar panels should produce a total of 33 kWh. Hence, each person requires a quantity of 3-9 domestic solar panels.
From these data, we can infer that the total of 4000 billion kWh used per year, divided by the days per year and the average amount of sunlight per day, gives 2750 million kilowatts. Therefore the total power the solar panels per hour should produce is 2750 million kilowatts. And to conclude, around 7.85 billion individual solar panels providing 350W per hour are required for the USA.
Area Needed For Implementing Solar Energy
With the need for around 7 billion solar panels, the area for installing them is a recurring concern. Solar energy can only be implemented if adequately installed to get enough sunlight for electricity. The short answer is there is no place in America where 7 billion solar panels can be erected.
If the solar panels are installed together in one large area, it is impossible to gain sunlight during peak hours. The daylight hour of the west coast is three hours behind the east coast. And to get the maximum produced sunlight and to use it efficiently, it is recommended to install small batches all over the USA.
This process is undoubtedly cost-effective for individual households, but the matter is opposite for the need for solar panels for the entire country. About 23 billion dollars is necessary for this to be implemented, and hopefully, the future will make this impossible scenario possible.
The amount of solar panels necessary for America is beyond anyone’s reach. It indeed requires years and years of constant work and implementing new ways to achieve this in the end. But small steps matter and make a massive difference in a huge accomplishment. Therefore, the best thing any individual can do is start investing in solar panels or their household and eventually become a part of a better cause.
Efficient and cost-effective solar panels can be availed online from Amazon.com. Solar panels from brands like Rockpals, Solperk, Allpowers, Kohree, etc., are available, enabling anyone to get solar panels quickly and conveniently.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Electricity Is Produced By One Solar Panel?
The amount of electricity produced from one solar panel depends on the amount of sunlight acquired and the installed panel’s efficiency. Efficiency is an essential aspect because higher efficiency results in the production of more electricity. However, efficiency is highly dependent on the ideal location of the solar panel, so this will vary from time to time.
Where Should The Solar Panels Be Installed?
The ideal location for installing solar panels is where the highest amount of sunlight is received. When the USA is taken as an example, the Southwest is a great place to start for gaining enough sunlight. Each household can place its solar panel on the rooftop facing towards the direction with more sunlight and use it daily.
Is It Possible To Use Solar Energy At Night?
Solar energy completely works in the presence of sunlight; therefore, the short answer to this question is no. This limits the usage of solar panels at all hours, making it crucial to get maximum sunlight during peak hours.
Can A Household Work Full Time Use Solar Energy?
With modern and advanced solar panel technology, it is possible to run a whole house on solar energy. On top of that, solar panels and batteries are now cost-friendly and convenient to obtain. Thus, using exclusively solar power for energy sources is more accessible and can be installed in each household. Further, it is also great for the environment and the planet.
How Long Can The Solar Batteries Stay Working?
The solar batteries available in the market for generating electricity for households have a life expectancy of 5 to 15 years. The solar power system usually comes with a 20 to 30 years of lifespan. This is one of the significant reasons solar panels are an excellent investment for the future.
Unfortunately, solar batteries don’t have the same long life expectancy as solar panels. Hence, the replacement of solar batteries is inevitable. But the bottom line is even with the minor issues possessed by solar panels; solar energy is still a great way to change the world for the better.