For so many, how they get power is just as important as the amount of power they consume. Given today’s environmentally conscious consumers and the movement to stop or slow global warming, there is a growing concern that traditional sources of power are no longer sufficient to stop the spread of climate change. Consumers and business leaders are turning to new, innovative, and, most importantly, renewable sources of power which replace traditional sources of power. This pivot to new sources of power can and has been accomplished by hydro and wind power but also has success when solar power is involved. Below, we’ll discuss how solar power can be a significant contributor to creating power as it stands and what new, exciting developments have come about.
What is solar power and how does it work?
Solar power is, simply, energy harnessed from the sun’s rays which is then used to power cells via solar panels. Panels are often placed on top of buildings in order to absorb as much of the sun’s rays as possible. This then creates an electrical process that allows the panels to transfer power to the building they are placed on. Any excess power after the building has consumed all needed power can then be sent to the power grid for use by other buildings or for other endeavors.
Notably, this isn’t the only way to place solar panels. There are large areas with many solar panels (known as solar farms) in sunny places throughout the country that do not have the typical “drain” associated with panels feeding a building. This allows for power to be sent to the power grid from a renewable source and ensure that homes, businesses, and industry is powered by an environmentally friendly source.
What new methods can help improve solar power?
Recent studies have given lift to the idea that solar power can get even better and more accessible in the years to come. One method is incorporating oxygen into solar panels to be able to create an electrical process by capturing what is known as “invisible light,” which is light that the human eye is unable to capture unaided. Additionally, new materials may make the manufacture of solar panels cheaper, so they can be used in a more widespread manner not just on solar farms but more frequently in residential dwellings or in other ways that we may not have yet considered due to the sometimes cost prohibitive nature.
What does this mean for the future of renewable energy?
Renewable energy, specifically solar, now has the potential to play an even greater role in our country’s energy supply and power grid. No matter whether a community or state decides to use traditional solar panels or a newly improved solar panel setup, we can be assured that the future with solar power will be bright.
Renewable energy use is on the rise and can create long-lasting benefits for not only our environment, but our long-term energy needs as well. This energy plan, Governor Cuomo’s own “Green New Deal,” aims to revolutionize the way that New Yorkers consume energy and make the state less dependent on fossil fuels and other types of non-renewable energy sources over time. This plan, while not unique to New York, is unprecedented throughout the state’s history, and may well revolutionize the energy industry in New York like the New Deal revolutionized America in the 1930s.
What does Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal plan include?
Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal plan includes plans to boost the state’s clean energy standard to 70 percent from 50 percent by 2030. There are a variety of ways the Governor proposes to do this which include:
- Increasing the offshore wind target from 2,400 megawatts by 2030 to 9,000 megawatts by 2035
- Doubling solar deployment from 3,000 megawatts by 2023 to 6,000 by 2025
- Maximizing large scale renewable energy contributions already in place from New York’s resources
- Striving toward more than double the land-based solar and wind resources based on the Clean Energy Standard
Are there any financial incentives to spur the private sector in the Green New Deal?
Governor Cuomo also included $1.5 billion in awards for more than 20 solar, energy, and wind projects in New York. These projects are slated to power more than 550,000 homes in addition to creating more than 2,500 jobs that will help New Yorkers in the short and long-term.
Has there been anything recently announced since the 2019 rollout of the plan?
The Governor’s 2020 state of the union address specifically addressed 21 awards that will help create more than 2,000 jobs and helps propagate more than $2.5 billion in private investment. Notably, projects received bids that were 23% lower than three years ago, saving taxpayers money and allowing for more work to be done toward renewable energy solutions. The implementation of these projects are the energy equivalents to helping take 300,000 cars off the road each year and reduces carbon emissions by 1.3 million metric tons annually.
What does this mean for New York and renewable energy?
This is a boon for New York and renewable energy across the state and, hopefully, nation. Using this as an example, energy may be able to be revolutionized across the United States so that older, more inefficient, and more expensive ways of producing energy are phased out so the consumer can benefit. This can help pave the way for increased productivity from energy sources, in addition to cleaner air and water that makes cities or other areas more attractive for short and long-term investment. No matter what the specifics of Governor Cuomo’s proposal are, the long-term trend toward more renewable energy in New York is a positive for clients who may be able to see the financial and ecological benefits sooner rather than later.