More and more people are living their best eco-friendly life and cutting down on their carbon footprint by recycling, using energy saving light bulbs, investing in energy-saving thermostats, and some are even using solar panels to power their homes.
But are solar panels really viable for urban living? One of the biggest criticisms against solar power is that there just isn’t enough available space to build solar farms, but what if all major cities adopted them on their buildings? Surely that would solve the space problem and generate a lot of eco-friendly energy, right?
Well yes, past research shows that if California covered all of its houses, buildings, and urban spaces with small-scale solar installations, it would generate enough electricity to power the state up to five times over. Now that’s a lot of eco-friendly energy generated!
I know what you’re thinking, that’s all very well and good but that that would only work in sunshine states! Well, you may be surprised to hear this but Long Island, New York seems to be a trailblazer when it comes to urban solar panel installation with the number of Long Islanders adding solar panels to their homes significantly increasing since 2012.
It seems there’s a lot of factors involved with Long Island’s love of solar panels ranging from high utility rates, good state policy support for solar panel purchases, and enough available roof space to make installations viable. Also, after Hurricane Sandy more individuals wanted to be more resilient to power outages – hopefully it doesn’t take more hurricanes and power outages for other cities to get on board with solar!
As one of the leading areas for solar power, Long Island proves to us that urban areas can be positively impacted by the increased presence of solar panels. Will other major cities follow in their footsteps and what type of increase will we see over the next five years? Only time will tell, but hopefully, solar power in big cities becomes a commonplace occurrence.