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Why solar power should be on your radar this year

Guest contributor: Michael Martin

The popularity of solar power continues to grow daily in the states. According to Pew Research, 89% of American adults believe we should deploy more solar. Why? The quality of Solar power is getting better and cheaper every year. And there is plenty of capital available and potential investors looking to finance solar projects. The United States is the 4th largest solar producer in the world, so why isn’t everyone installing solar on their buildings here in North Texas?  In my opinion, there are two big reasons:

  1. Texas power is pretty low-priced, so the perception is that solar is still too expensive.  It is not especially when you think it will be a fixed price forever. Solar is affordable today with a variety of ways to finance it – including with $0 down and for 25 years.  
  2. People prefer to follow a trend, yet somebody has to go first, show the way, blaze the trail, adopt early. The list of reasons be a local North Texas early adopter of solar is long.  Solar projects have almost no risk. Solar power works…and works and works. It’s proven. It lasts…for decades! Just ask the folks who finance solar to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide.  

For evidence of solar’s value, low-risk and reliability, just travel to the west coast, New York or New England or other major economies like Germany, China, Italy or India. A full-scale transformation of power generation and usage is underway in these areas from centralized to distributed. It no longer generates in one big (dirty and dangerous) spot like a coal-fired power plant sitting on a quarry of coal with power sent over long-distance power lines to the markets where there is need for it. Instead, it generates distributed (clean and safe) solar power on rooftops where it is needed, only using grid power when the rooftop can’t generate enough (e.g. on long, hot summer days) and sending its extra power back to the grid when the host facility does not need all of it (e.g. sunny yet cool winter days) and if there is no accompanying storage (e.g. batteries). This power sector transformation bears great similarity to the information technology evolution of the past 30 years from massive mainframes to computers in our pockets!

Perhaps the bigger thing is that solar is good for everyone. Everyone is a winner with solar.  Solar makes brands better because it demonstrates that the company cares about their community and wants to reduce its contribution to our terrible pollution problem. Solar-powered companies also perform better financially so it’s not just qualitatively “good” but quantitatively, CPA-satisfying “good”. National and global leading firms like Target, IKEA, Toyota, Costco, Amazon, Apple, Prologis and Walmart are all deploying solar to save money, clean up their local air and build their brands up even more as sustainable operators.

Deploying solar is not complex.

A company can assess how to deploy solar in hours, not days, and does not need a task force.   The US has a large and growing solar workforce (over 250,000 now) who can expertly engineer and build the solar projects. So, think like Nike…just do it!

The time now is now to take action, deploy solar…today! If you have a building with a nice sun-exposed roof, you no longer have a reason not to go solar. None. Be a leader, bask in your glory!

About The Author

Michael Martin has a long-standing passion for renewable energy. This is his calling to high-impact, purpose-driven work. After 20+ years doing cool and valuable B2B stuff in the information technology sector, Michael began his solar career in 2010 as founder/EVP of utility solar company Principal Solar, where he developed approximately 280 megawatts of projects valued at $500 million. Now, he is directing his energy into serving early solar adopters who are ready to lead with clean and safe on-site solar power in his home state of Texas. Michael has always been motivated to help companies adopt high-value solutions that enhance their positions as market and community leaders.