iT’S EXPENSIVE, BUT AFFORDABLE

As a student of environmental studies, I know that solar power is a much-needed resource in this era of climate change. I know that solar power had its advantages in terms of its friendliness towards the environment. I know that solar power is a growing industry in the United States as more and more people move towards renewable resources as a replacement for traditional methods. As I grow older, I try my best to imagine how I can live an eco-friendly lifestyle. But I also begin to wonder how realistic it is for solar power to be adopted by everyone on an individual basis. It is clear that the growth of solar power is a positive and necessary change, but it is unclear how feasible an extensive implementation would be. The environmental benefits go without saying, so much so that it is not typically brought up when a consumer invests in solar power; why else would someone invest in solar power? In some cases, I see it as a motivating factor to get more people interested. I know we need to move to solar energy, but I don’t know how we achieve such a goal.  

It seems as though a student such as myself with this educational pathway, the desire to live an eco-friendly lifestyle should come without saying. There is no excuse as to why I can’t live by example. Therefore, it isn’t a question that I’ve thought to cut down my own carbon emissions now and in the future has crossed my mind at some point. Is it possible to introduce eco-friendly choices such as solar power in an area where it is not as widespread? These thoughts have then led me to ponder on what makes the switch to solar power so difficult.                                                                                                                                                                    
It’s expensive. According to Joe from Blue Rock Energy, “Solar power is a five-figure investment. People are interested in saving the environment, but become skeptical when they realize the initial costs.” I want to help the environment, but I know I can’t afford a five-figure investment, not me, not my family, not my neighborhood. But, hey, all this money just for the environment?  Maybe in a few decades the costs of solar power would drop and there would be no excuse for anyone to live without solar power. But will it be too late by the time that happens? This was the dilemma that I faced. Saving the environment is a constant battle, making the alternative of waiting for an unrealistic solution.

But why wait? Why continue to contribute the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere when there are various different companies that take pride in making solar power as affordable as possible. It was only recently that I discovered the financial benefits of solar power through the community-based approach. Rather than paying an upfront cost, multiple households are allowed to share from a solar farm and are capable of further slashing the electric bill. To me, this was a game changer, as the factors that made solar power a mere possibility, are now a reality. Knowing that there are ways that I can have a better effect on the environment while sacrificing less financially is a welcoming thought to keep in mind.

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Living an environmentally beneficial lifestyle is a commitment and requires a conscious effort to maintain over a long period of time. The transition to solar power is no exception. The switch to solar power is a risk that is taken on by many with the hopes of benefiting from it at some point in the future. The benefit of solar could be five, ten, or twenty years down the line, with the reduction of your utility bill. Like many of the choices that I make in life, solar power is one of the many decisions that are eventually going to be made. Switching to solar power is one of the many risks that I am willing to take in order to secure a stable budget in the long run, but also an environment that deals with a smaller carbon footprint than in previous years. The question remains, do you think that the investment into solar power is necessary for a beneficial future?