Solar energy has become a rising star in the energy market, and for several good reasons. The sun is a major source of renewable energy that can cleanly allow the world to meet its needs, from the most obvious problem of energy shortages to economic, social, and environmental factors. These are the reasons that many companies, large and small, are turning to solar energy research, development, and manufacturing in order to meet the needs of their customers. Investing in solar energy means investing in the future, and Falcons Rock Impact Investments is here to help socially responsible investors, like you, find worthwhile vehicles for your money.
Job Creation New technological development leads to job creation. For solar energy projects, you need people to design the infrastructure, manufacture it, market it, and install it. While the base for solar energy is fairly small right now, it’s taking off quickly. Because the industry is so young, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done right away to get things set up, unlike coal or natural gas. Right now, solar energy employs more than 200,000 people, despite providing a fairly small percentage of the world’s electricity, and those numbers will likely continue to grow.
There are criticisms that solar energy’s increased employment is inefficient and temporary. Due to the labor needed right now, solar energy is more expensive in some places than the existing alternatives and doesn’t provide the same amount of energy. As technology develops, critics argue solar energy will become less labor-intensive and more automated, which means that jobs could be cut. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. As innovations are continually needed in the solar energy sector—whether improving the efficiency of the materials or the capacity of storage batteries—more people will be needed to make those developments possible and widespread.
Environmental Protection The Paris Agreement states that global warming needs to be curbed for the sake of the planet, and the United States was committed to cut emissions by up to 28% of what they were in 2005 by the year 2025. A change like this, as well as other environmental benefits, can be achieved through solar power. In 2012, the electric power sector accounted for 32% of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions. This is a staggering number, but one that can be reduced through responsible investing and sustainable alternatives.
Solar energy is a clean and safe alternative to the current fossil fuels that are used to provide electricity. Harvesting and burning fossil fuels lead to pollution of the air, water, and land; nuclear power also contributes to pollution. These sources of energy destroy habitats for wildlife and trees that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and keep the air clean. Greenhouse gas emissions can lead to changes in weather patterns that can do everything from hurt agriculture to increase the population of disease-spreading insects to displacing people along coastal regions from their homes as sea levels rise. Solar energy use can reduce climate change because it doesn’t produce carbon emissions: it might take time to build up, but it can offset its carbon footprint in a relatively short amount of time with the proper support.
Social Benefits Solar power can do a lot for consumers, as well. Solar panels are suitable for installing on rooftops of individual buildings like homes and businesses, and when combined with passive solar design of buildings, they can provide cooling and heating of spaces, as well as water heating. Small-scale solar infrastructures enable end consumers to produce their own power, and medium-sized systems could power entire communities with the light of the sun. Decentralized solar-power systems can also enable buildings in remote areas to have access to power despite their distance from electrical grids: this is crucial for agriculture businesses to be able to operate risk-free and efficiently.
Companies have taken notice of how to help their clients. Con Edison is working to provide renewable energy to low-income customers in 2018 after they received approval of a plan to place solar panels on the company roofs and grounds. This will give more customers, especially those who would otherwise be shut out of the market, access to solar power and savings. Ikea has started making solar power systems and home battery packs available in the U.K., meaning their customers can generate and store their own power. Tesla has recently revealed plans to sell solar panels that look like roof tiles for consumers. As evidenced by these various examples, many companies are placing a priority on the environment. You, as an investor, can also help make a renewable-powered future a reality.
Impact Investments Support Solar Energy Projects We stand to gain a lot economically and socially from the development of alternative and responsible energy projects, and protecting our environment has become more important than ever. Funding these projects with investments is one way that we can allow solar energy companies to keep innovating and creating the jobs that will keep our economy and communities healthy for years to come.
With Falcons Rock Impact Investments, you can leave your own positive impact on the world through your investments. Money talks, and your contributions as a shareholder to sustainable solar energy can help enable future developments. Get started on finding solar energy investment vehicles that fit your needs, risk tolerance, and other factors. Learn more about impact investing today.