While solar power has been available for years, only 2 percent of the United States’s power is from these sources. However, this could change rapidly as more convenient and user-friendly technologies emerge.
Solar panels are changing to be more aesthetically pleasing. Researchers have developed transparent solar panels which can be applied to windows. These panels are less effective than the old, bulky panels, but many people care more about how something looks and works than how effective it is. However, these panels have the potential to produce up to 40 percent of the energy in the United States. This could lead to lower energy costs and a less damaging effect on the economy while creating different kinds of jobs.
The use of solar energy will also be expanding drastically. As the demand for more renewable energy becomes more pronounced and critical, the demand for solar energy will surge. While it only accounts for one percent of all energy used across the globe, experts predict that will grow to 16 percent by mid-century. Again, this will decrease the collective carbon footprint across the globe while allowing for new jobs in emerging industries to take form.
Because of the expansion in solar power usage, it will become even less expensive than it is today. This will make accessing solar panels or other types of solar technology simpler for the average consumer. In turn, it will cut down on energy costs over the next couple of decades for the average American citizen. At a time when budgets around the country are often tight and families are looking for financial relief, savings like these will be a boon to most of America.
Even though this will deeply benefit the United States, China will continue to be a leader in solar technologies and solar energy usage. Even now, China controls 70 percent of all of the global trade of solar energy materials. This is due to the fact that China has access to many of the minerals used in current solar panels. As technologies progress, this could change, but it is unlikely that China will lose its majority of production in solar materials. Even still, this will be a great asset to individual budgets, local industries, international trade, the global economy, and the fight against climate change.