I'm doing a debate for my middle school science class. I need to back up my theory on why solar energy is good for our environment and had a couple questions I was hoping somebody could answer for me.
-How many jobs have been generated in the solar energy field in the last few years?
-How much savings do households that have been converted to solar energy experience?
-Is solar energy only used for electrical energy? What about heating water?
Jackson County Missouri
-How many jobs have been generated in the solar energy field in the last few years? The Solar Foundation conducts an annual census of solar jobs across the United States. The most recent census found that the solar industry employed over 100,000 people in August 2011, and that solar jobs were growing at over ten times the rate of the overall U.S. economy. The full solar jobs census report (pdf) contains a breakdown of the top solar employment states. Some of the numbers are: 2010; 95,503, 2011; 105,145, and 2012; 119,016.
-How much savings do households that have been converted to solar energy experience? This varies based on the size of the solar system installed. For a typical home in Colorado using solar to generate all of its electricity, they would experience savings of about $900 per year. (Of course that system might cost $14,000 to install after federal tax credits.)
-Is solar energy only used for electrical energy? What about heating water? Solar energy can be used for electricity (photovoltaics), heating water (solar thermal/solar hot water), or heating space (solar air heating systems/passive solar).
good reference for more info is: http://www.eia.gov/kids/