Residential solar energy

Every school child in America knows that plants make their energy through the process of photosynthesis, a miracle of evolution, without which life on Earth could not even exist.

And while mankind might like to think of ourselves as the most evolved species on the food chain, we’re just barely catching up to the sophistication of the common houseplant. Because while human beings continue to burn through fossil fuels at an alarming rate, a new study by MIT recently revealed that existing solar tech could provide 100% of our energy needs.

The benefits of solar energy have become clear to homeowners across the United States in the 21st century, and more Americans are seeking to offset their emissions footprint by installing residential solar systems on their home or property. That’s why solar energy installation has been skyrocketing so far this decade.

In fact, research by Green Tech Media shows that a new photo-voltaic system is installed every four minutes in the United States. That’s a 41% increase in just two years time. And by next year, that number could drop to a solar energy installation every 80 seconds. By 2013, almost 400,000 U.S. homes used residential solar power systems, and solar energy experts expect that number to more than double to a million homes over the next five years.

So far, California homeowners have been winning the race for residential solar power. The Golden State already produces more than 5% of its total energy capacity from the famous California sunshine. However, trends move West to East in American culture, and Northeastern states are catching up in the solar energy installation sprint. In 2014, Massachusetts solar installers added 308 megawatts of solar electric capacity to the state’s energy system.

Nationwide, solar renewable energy accounted for half of all new power generation in 2014, and experts say that number will only grow this year. So while mankind hasn’t quite replicated the miracle of photosynthesis just yet, solar panels offer the brightest hope for the increasingly dim reality of fossil fuel emissions. Fortunately, while the number of solar panel installations continues to surge, the price of photo-voltaic panels is dropping fast.

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