Enlightening You to Help Create More Positive Energy

Latest News

How many solar panels do we need to save the climate?

In order to reach net zero, we really need to start looking into solar power, as scientists say that a zero-carbon-emissions world will rely on low-cost solar electricity. We can try taking carbon out of the atmosphere, but this is expensive. A much cheaper option is to shut down coal-fired power plants and expand our renewable energy industry.

The cost of coal to health and wealth

In Germany, coal-fired power plant pollution causes nearly 5000 premature deaths a year. In Asia, it's nearly one million.

Producing coal-fired power is four times more expensive than making electricity from PV or wind power plants.

The Research

In 2019 a research group at LUT University in Finland published a study showing how we can quickly reach net-zero carbon emissions safely and cost-effectively. 

In the model proposed by this study, solar photovoltaics (PV) — solar panels — would supply 69% of power. The rest would come from wind, biomass and waste, hydroelectricity, and geothermal. Nuclear power is too expensive, while the cost of PV technology is falling year on year. Solar power plants are also easier, quicker, and less risky to install.

Binning Fossil Fuels

The LUT study asks two questions:

1) When do we need to reach net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases to meet the international goal of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F)?

2) How many solar panel manufacturing plants do we need to build, and by when?

Well, there’s a simple answer to question 1:

In 2019, the world emitted 40 gigatonnes of CO2. If we keep going at this level, we’ll overshoot our carbon emissions by the end of 2025, leading to extremely dangerous changes in our climate. So we need to reach net zero as soon as possible – the current 2050 target is 25 years too late!

The solution: Build 100 giant PV factories

The LUT study proposes a carbon-neutral world, powered by 90% electricity. 69% of this will come from solar PV. So we come back to question 2: How many solar panel manufacturing plants do we need to build and by when?

At our current PV factory-building rate, we're nowhere near close enough to getting the job done in time. To rise to the climate challenge, we need 15 times more factories built by 2024 than are currently in the pipeline. We need to build another 100 the same size as the 60 gigawatt PV module factory in China’s Anhui province (the largest PV module factory in the world). This was something Elon Musk realized back in 2016.

So, how many solar panels do we need to save the climate? 

A heck of a lot. As many solar panels as 100 giant PV factories can make. We will need 100 giant solar panel factories by 2025 to defossilize our energy supply by 2035. This would mean we’d no longer need to use fossil fuels at all, meaning no more pollution and no more dangerous climate change.



Change the way our world is powered

Subscribe to Email Updates

Book a Virtual Design Consultation

Frequently Asked Questions

Can FPL or my HOA prevent me from switching to solar?

The Florida Solar Rights Act is a law that forbids any entity—including homeowner associations—from prohibiting the installation of solar or other renewable energy devices on Florida buildings.

An association may require approval of a system installation and may establish restrictions for installations. However, any such restrictions must be reasonable, not arbitrary, and applied in a uniform manner for all association members. Also, any restrictions must not have the effect of impairing the performance, or increasing the cost, of a solar system.

In particular, a homeowner association may not prevent the installation of solar collectors on the roof of a home. The association may determine where on the roof the collectors may be installed, so long as the collectors face within 45 degrees of due south.

Finally, any requirement(s) that a system be screened from view by trees, fences, ground mounting racks, or a remote roof location that is hidden from the street, will generally violate the statute.

Click here to verify information is provided by the Florida Solar Energy Industry Association

Is solar free for Florida homeowners?
  • The sun is free to everyone.
  • Solar panels and specific back-up battery systems qualify for a number of rebates, tax credits and incentives.
  • There is a cost associated with solar energy because you are paying for your system. 
  • Financing enables homeowners to make the transition with $0 upfront costs
  • Systems often cost the same amount monthly as your current FPL bill
  • Solar puts equity in your home because you own the system and increases the value a minimum of 4.1% - click here for the Zillow case study

Does solar increase my home value?

Not only can adding solar panels to a home save energy costs and help the environment, it also can potentially increase a home’s value. In 2019 Zillow found that homes with solar energy systems sold for 4.1% more on average than comparable homes without solar power. For the median-valued home, that translates to an additional $9,274.

The sale premium varies substantially by market. In Riverside, Calif., for example, homes with solar-energy systems sold for 2.7% more than comparable homes without solar power—a markup of $9,926 for the median-valued home in the metro. In the greater New York City metro, solar-powered homes have a premium that is double that of Riverside. At 5.4%, that’s an extra $23,989 in value for the typical home in New York. In three other coastal metro areas—Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando, Fla.—homes with solar power can fetch a premium of around 4%.

Sun travels 91 million miles to power your home-1

From Facebook