Get in Now – The Georgia Solar Energy Boom
Georgia Solar Energy Statistics from IKEA and Businesses to Local Governments and Homeowners
Ikea’s doing it. REI is doing it. Anheuser Busch is doing it. And those are just a few of the businesses.
By 2013, 3255 Georgia homes were also being powered with solar energy – ranking the Peach State 21st in the nation at the time. This means massive energy bill savings, increased home values, and long term overall savings for thousands of homeowners.
Solar energy has also boosted to over 64,000 the number of jobs in Georgia related to energy and the environment. In 2015, $311 million was invested in solar energy in Georgia, and prices for solar have dropped 48% since 2010.
In sports circles, this is what’s known as a bandwagon. And if you aren’t on it, you’re missing out on all the fun (and the power bill savings).
Check out the graph:
With a 370 megawatt capacity from solar energy in 2015, Georgia now ranks 11th in the nation in installed solar energy.
But is that good? How many more rooftops are sitting around, perfectly suited for a money-saving array of solar panels?
Is Your Roof Naked? Put some Panels On!
Estimates just in Atlanta discovered at least 1.2 million rooftops that were perfectly situated for solar panels. “Perfectly situated” means large, flat, and facing the right direction (south) for maximum sun exposure. If all these rooftops were used, solar energy would be supplying 21% of Atlanta’s energy needs.
Statewide, supplying 10% of our energy from solar is easily attainable. Right now it’s only around 1%, even with the massive growth you see happening. But if we could supply 10% of the state’s energy needs from solar, that’s the same thing as taking 134,000 cars off the road.
Installing solar panels is a lot easier than removing hundreds of thousands of cars.
Better Solar Potential than Germany – So Why are They Beating Us?
Georgia gets about 2800 hours of direct sunlight per year. Germany gets only 1200 to 1800 hours, yet they lead the world in solar power generation. We have barely put a dent in what’s still possible.
How much sun do we get? See the Georgia Solar Energy Weather Forecast.
In Georgia, a 1 Kilowatt solar panel can capture 1345 kilowatt-hours of solar energy per year. The average Georgia home uses about 14,000 kWh per year. That means about 10 solar panels will capture all the energy needed by the average home. Remember – these are all averages, so don’t take these numbers as stone-written truth and assume they will be true for your situation. Lots of factors come into play. But this gives you an idea of what current solar technology can do – and the technology continues to improve.
Solar Momentum Goes Up as Costs Go Down
In 2012, IKEA in Port Wentworth decided to revamp their huge distribution center. They spent millions installing a 1.45 MW solar panel array, one of the largest corporate solar energy systems in the state. It has over 6000 panels covering their massive roof, and it supplies 80-85% of their energy needs.
Once the initial costs are recovered, this system will save huge amounts of money they can reinvest into their business or pass on to consumers for years into the future.
And that’s just one example. Colleges, government facilities, car dealerships, homes, farms, and many more are seeing the long term value of going solar. They’re taking advantage of whatever tax incentives and grants they can get their hands on, and investing in their energy futures.
It saves money, helps the environment by reducing carbon dioxide pollution and coal mining runoff, and reduces poisonous airborne toxins like mercury – which is especially harmful to unborn fetuses. Best of all – once it’s paid for, it’s basically free energy. Solar panels only require minimal maintenance. Learn more about 11 benefits of solar power over existing energy sources.
In 1977, it cost $76.67 per watt to install solar energy systems. By 2014, it cost just 36 cents.
With that kind of trend, how much longer can you afford to sit on the sidelines? The bandwagon is rolling.