Solar Power Used in the USA Has Tripled
According to monthly reports published by the US Department of Energy, the coal and gas power is about to lose its position of the America’s major source of energy, which is now rapidly replaced by the solar power.
Respectively, the capacity of solar power is expected to triple in size by 2017, since the energy shakeup is now taking place around the country.
Using Solar Power Will Reduce Gas Emissions
As soon as the world had discovered alternative sources of energy, the country’s government has done everything to promote eco-friendly ways of generating energy.
One of the most affordable and most accessible ways to eliminate traditional gas and coal power for average American became the installation of solar panels, the cost of which has dropped more than 60% since 2010 and continues the markdown till today.
The USA was one of the most influential countries, when it comes to the issues of the world’s climate change, particularly the greenhouse effect. The US government has always invested in solar powered inventions and tried to encourage solar panel companies. According to Paris climate agreement, we are obligated to take actions against global warming that should not exceed the average of 3,6°F.
Therefore, the country is set up for cutting carbon dioxide emissions highly produced at power stations by replacing gas and coal to renewable sources of energy with no negative effects on the climate.
US Government Makes Solar Panels Cheaper
Even though the percentage of renewables are relatively small (only 8% in 2016), the number is expected to grow to 9% in the following year – mainly due to the growth of solar power usage.
Indeed, the solar power “boom” in the 2010’s made solar panels cheaper since the investments of the federal and states’ government as well private institutions reduced the coast of the panels themselves and their installation.
The main reason was the high average efficiency of solar panels in comparison with other alternative or renewable sources of energy. The Congress has extended solar tax credit and, as a result, the annual growth for solar power-producing capacity has increased almost by 39%.
Coal About to Drop Back?
Yet, the complexity of coal mining and the fallen prices of natural gas made electric power companies give preference to power stations fired with gas rather than coal.
Coal-fired power plants weren’t destined to last for long: regulations about mercury pollutions made those companies rethink the ways of producing electric power.
More and more companies switched to cheaper gas sources of energy. This ultimately helped to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, since a there’s hardly a half of carbon dioxide released from natural gas than from coal.
The reports of the US Department of Energy claim that by the end of this year, it’s expected that 35% of the US electricity will be produced using gas-fired power plants and only 30% using coal. In comparison, last year the numbers were equal – approximately 33% for each source of the electricity. In fact, in 2017 the price of gas is about to increase, which will be the reason for the slight increase of coal production up to 31%.
Also, be sure to read about solar powered shingles recently introduced by famous Tesla Company!
Predictions for Future
Professor of environmental engineering at Rice University Daniel Cohan, however, says that coal is now losing its major position in many markets. Therefore, according to many analysts, many power stations using coal would spend more on fossil than if they used gas.
Even though more and more companies try to reduce the ejection of mercury into the air by installing scrubbers, Cohan predicts that the era of the coal-fired stations is about to fade in the nearest future.