Globally, 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity with 600 million residing in sub-Saharan Africa and 300 million residing in India. However, countries like India and China are also industrializing quickly which means that the total demand and consumption of electricity is also increasing. Since it is understood that traditional sources of electricity such as oil and coal negatively impact our environment and health, many countries are starting to transition from traditional fossil fuels to renewable energy. Solar energy is one type of renewable source that has the potential to help us address our global energy demands without also polluting our environment.
There are two different types of solar technology: Photovoltaic (PV) and Concentrating solar power (CSP). PV technology generates electric power through captured and converted sunlight whereas CSP powers heaters or engines through mirrors that harness and concentrate the sun’s heat and the generation of thermal energy. Currently, there are more than 2 million solar PV installations in the United States generating enough electricity for 12 million homes.
2019 has seen many innovations in solar technology with South Florida being one place that has recently made significant progress in the solar sector. For example, the Florida Power & Light Company will install around 30 million solar panels by the year 2030, Broward County supported its residents and businesses in gaining access to solar panels to use on their property, and the city of South Miami committed to becoming 100% reliant on renewable energy before 2050.
One South Floridian company, SOLAR SAVIOR, is determined to help their community with their solar needs. According to their sales & marketing expert, Mellissa Moore, “SOLAR SAVIOR provides project management, design, diagnostic, and consulting services. Other solar companies are calling us when they need help – which speaks volumes.”
SOLAR SAVIOR is also a member of EcoTech Visions— the first green incubator and makers space in Miami, Florida. EcoTech Visions promotes innovations in sustainability, space, farming (including aquaponics and hydroponics), energy and green technology. They also house urban farming systems, provide resources and office spaces to a number of sustainable businesses, as well as host environmentally focused events. EcoTech Visions has been around for four years, and has already impacted hundreds of innovative start-up companies throughout Miami.
Solar energy has an important role to play in our future. These changes help to produce more jobs, it’s economically efficient, and it plays a major role in they way we protect and use the earth’s resources. The solar power industry is expected to grow; eventually becoming “the world’s largest single source of energy” in the 2020s. Moore hopes for a future where the overall cost of solar systems continue to decrease as there are new developments in solar innovation. She said: ” A few cities in Florida have followed California and made solar implementation in the construction of new homes mandatory. I truly hope all cities in the State of Florida will make solar mandatory for new homes as well.”
A reduction in the cost of these technologies will also benefit the solar industry where it is expected that there will be a global increase in the installation of solar technologies. Also, the percentage of homes in the United States that have solar technologies should also increase to 2.5% by the mid 2020s. If Florida’s local governments continue to embrace renewable energy, they have the potential to become a real leader and example for other states to follow. In the future, we might even see solar powered mobile networks, roads, and solar powered clothing.