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New report shows solar panels have seen a ‘huge’ 50% growth over the past year — here’s what’s powering the change

Solar panels are on track to meet more than half of the European Union’s power needs in 2023.

Global rooftop solar panel

Photo Credit: iStock

A report from SolarPower Europe shows that global rooftop solar panel use increased by nearly 50% in 2022. 

The organization’s findings don’t predict any slowdown in the reliance on this clean energy source, either. In fact, the study shows that the European Union is on track to have solar energy meet more than half of its power needs for 2023.

The global boom is a result of several converging factors. 

First off, President Biden recently signed new legislation pushing for more investments in renewable energy, which includes a 30% tax credit for homeowners who install solar panels. Additionally, sky-high inflation rates have driven many Americans to find more ways to save money, which has made money-saving upgrades like solar panels more appealing than ever over the long term.

“We’re installing huge amounts of solar, and we need to be able to use it when we need it. Governments around the world must make upgrading their electricity and storage infrastructure a political priority,” Michael Schmela, director of market intelligence at SolarPower Europe, said in a statement.

The surge in solar power use could mean bluer skies ahead — literally. Traditional, dirty energy is produced by burning non-renewable sources like coal and gas. When burned, these emit polluting gases into the atmosphere that are largely responsible for Earth’s rising temperatures. 

In fact, the burning of dirty energy sources in the power sector in the U.S. accounts for roughly three-quarters of carbon dioxide per the Natural Resources Defense Council, and carbon dioxide is one of the toxic gases primarily responsible for rising temperatures. 

Alternatively, solar panels do not cause pollution because they get their energy from the sun. Plus, solar power is renewable, meaning we won’t run out of it the way we could coal or gas. 

Relying more on solar panels is also beneficial to our health. Reducing dirty energy power sources and increasing clean energy solutions like solar panels can improve air quality – especially in dense urban areas that see some of the worst smog and pollution.

There are several financial benefits to going solar, too. You can reduce your power bill, receive a tax incentive, and even see a boost in your property value.

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