Is switching to solar really that good for schools and universities?

In this article, we explore the pros of solar in general and why its beneficial for schools and universities.


With more and more concerns being raised regarding the future of our planet and humanity, scientists and nature activists have been seeking alternative ways to supply people with the things they need without causing too much harm to the environment.

That’s how electric cars and alternative fuels, as well as energy sources, became a trend.

Compared to other methods of generating electrical energy, which includes gas and diesel generators, nuclear power plants, using solar and wind power are much more ecological. Human-made power generators can be destructive to nature by leaving a large carbon footprint.

Alternate energy systems, on the contrary, are harmless as they use natural resources such as wind and sunlight to produce energy. These systems are clean and renewable, meaning that we will probably never run out of sources.

Eco-friendliness of solar power is the biggest reason why it’s trending today. Its popularity keeps growing stronger.

According to statistics, by the end of 2018, the US alone had over 64 GW of installed solar systems, which is enough to deliver energy to over 12 million US homes. The same year, the US has produced almost 17% of all energy by using renewable sources, and 1.6% of it was generated by solar systems.

Is switching to solar power really that good, and can we find it use outside our homes? In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the benefits of this power system and its possible use in schools and universities.

Schools-and-Solar
Solar panels shade buses while producing energy at this school parking lot

The Pros of Switching to Solar

Discussing the pros of this technology, we should start with the obvious. It is much more ecological than many old-fashioned ways of generating electricity.

Using natural resources to supply people with electricity, we are cutting down on carbon footprint and cause no harm to our planet. This is the most important and significant benefit of switching to it.

Today, when we have already started to feel the impact of climate change on our lives, it became vital to take good care of our environment finally.

Eco-friendliness of solar power, though important, is not the only benefit. Apart from it, switching to such a system also offers us a good range of additional advantages, such as:

  • Versatility. One of the biggest benefits of this energy system is that it can be used for various purposes. Some of the most common applications are to power satellites in space, distill water, and deliver electricity to remote areas. Also, it can be integrated into building materials to ensure stable and constant power supply for different buildings;
  • Renewability. As was already mentioned, sunlight is one of the renewable natural resources. It is widely available all around the globe every day, and we are not likely to run out of it any time soon;
  • Cheap maintenance. It is fair to stay that installing solar panels is pretty expensive. However, once installed, the cost of maintenance remains quite low compared to other energy systems. A good panel produced by a reliable manufacturer is going to serve you for many years. A standard warranty for such panels is about 20-25 years;
  • Constantly advancing technology. Due to the high demand for solar power all across the world, industry specialists keep working tirelessly to improve and advance this technology even further. Innovators present new ideas quite often, which makes solar panels become much more effective as technology evolves;
  • Lower bills. Finally, using solar energy to heat or generate electricity for your own home can significantly reduce those hefty electricity bills.

Use of Solar Power for Schools and Universities

Although currently, solar panels are widely used to generate electricity for homes, educational facilities can also benefit from them.

The biggest issue of most large schools and universities is that their utility costs often go way beyond affordable. Providing electricity and heat for thousands of students is a challenge.

Thus, most educational facilities are looking for ways to cut down their expenses, and this is when solar power can become a solution.

It has been proven that massive solar systems get the biggest ROI. This basically means that installing such systems in schools and universities is a great way to save energy.

Unfortunately, despite this pretty obvious benefit, implementing this idea can be a real challenge for a school or university.

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Solar ground mount in Portugal.

Deciding to switch to solar energy, schools have to address a large number of issues, including learning about new tax credits that come along with this choice, studying available products and equipment, and looking for financing opportunities.

In addition, facilities that consider switching to a different power system have to figure out whether this idea is economically viable. Before rushing into installing panels, it is vital to determine how much energy and money can be saved with its help.

Another major issue facing schools and universities is deciding on the location of the system. There are two options to pick from – to install an off-site or on-site system. Although it may seem unimportant, this decision will have a significant impact on how much energy a facility will be able to use.

Still, it is clear that schools and universities can really benefit from solar power. Here are a few advantages.

Free Source of Power

First of all, getting electricity from the sun is free. Of course, it takes money to install and maintain such systems.

However, once installed, they will supply free heat and electricity in the long run, while maintenance costs are pretty low.

Independency

Power outages have always been a big issue for schools and universities. No school wants to go out of power when its students are typing a custom essay or passing an important exam. That’s where solar energy can come in handy.

Such systems work independently. This means that schools that use solar energy can operate outside the general systems, which can be very helpful in the case of a massive utility power outage.

Better Enrollment

With everything green and ecological trending today, it is not surprising that schools and universities that use alternative energy attract more students.

Many parents and students find sustainable educational facilities much more attractive. Therefore, investing in photovoltaic (PV) systems can help a facility establish a sustainable brand image and, thus, boost enrollment.

Lower Operation Cost

Schools’ utility bills can be pretty hefty. Adopting PV systems is a great opportunity to save a fair amount of money and cut down on overall operation costs.

Coverage in the Press and Media

The topic of the environment is trending. Global communities are now extremely concerned about saving the planet and using alternative energy sources — no wonder why facilities that use alternate systems often get coverage in media and press.

For schools and universities, investing in PV systems is a great opportunity to increase brand awareness, attract more students, investors, partners, and add credibility.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the biggest and most evident benefits of using green energy in educational facilities. Keeping in mind these pros and everything mentioned above, it is fair to say that solar power is the best solution for schools and universities that want to take the best from nature!

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