Across the country, energy companies are turning away from coal, and towards natural gas and solar power as ways to generate energy more efficiently, while being much safer for the environment.
In 2014, PV or solar-powered energy accounted for .5% of the country’s electricity, while natural gas accounted for a respectable 27%, according to the US Energy Information Administration. While the energy produced from PV may seem like a minuscule amount with the costs of solar and natural gas plummeting, it’s no question that more companies will be moving away from coal and towards these greener alternatives.
Solar Industry is Booming
According to the EIA, there was an increase of 100% in PV generation from 2013 to 2014. This represented the largest growth rate for any energy source in the time period–more than natural gas, as well as wind.
Big Business Getting Behind Solar Energy
Companies around the country are beginning to take notice of the benefits both, from a public relations standpoint, as well as cost savings that can be seen by utilizing solar technology. Apple recently announced that they are investing in an $800+ million farm that will power their California facilities. Other companies, such as Walmart and Starwood Hotels, are also looking to use solar panels to power their operations around the country and ultimately, around the world.
One of the driving forces behind solar growth has been tax credits. Companies are seeing that they can save significant money in not only energy costs, but also in tax liabilities through utilizing solar energy. Hopefully government agencies will continue to offer these tax credits, which have undoubtedly had a huge effect on the growth of renewable energy sources. With some of these tax credits set to expire soon, renewing this legislation should be high on the to-do list of every politician.
Use Gooch & Housego’s OL750 to Measure PV Efficiency
One of the difficulties when utilizing solar energy is determining PV efficiency. Gooch & Housego has solved this problem by creating the OL750 spectroradiometer, which can easily measure the PV efficiency of your solar cells. As more companies turn to solar power for energy generation, it will become even more important to ensure that solar facilities are performing efficiently.