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Solar energy is one of the cleanest forms of energy there is, and the history of solar energy has  been shown to be in parallel with human progress, even as we turned to other less sustainable sources of energy to fuel our civilization. But, it looks as though solar energy is becoming more and more of a viable alternative as technology develops, and as our awareness of dwindling resources increases.

Guest writer Susan Wells is here to outline three stories of solar energy’s inroads deeper into the mainstream.

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Solar power energy used to be something reserved for sci-fi novels and futuristic action films. Or, on the other side of the spectrum, laughed off as a dream of hippies and crazed environmentalists. The truth, though, is that solar energy is closer to us than we think. In fact, it’s currently all around us and will only continue to grow in use and development in the coming years.

Over the past decade, solar power has slowly been taking over mainstream ideas for energy sources, and the developments should excite any advocate for alternative energy solutions. Here are three of the biggest changes we’ve seen in the development of solar energy in the United States in the last few years that will not only save energy now, but insure the energy of the future:

Huge public solar power zones announced

In 2011 the U.S. Government announced plans for 17 areas in the Western United States that would be zoned for solar power generation. The areas are public space comprising about 285,000 total acres in Arizona, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada and Colorado. Each space was researched and chosen specifically for its propensity to generate the most megawatts of electricity from solar power. They were also chosen based on the lowest amount of environmental, cultural and historical conflicts.

The plans will be finalized this year and they definitely signify a huge government effort to promote and develop solar power for the American public. These types of spaces could potentially become the energy sources for everyday Americans and serve as part of the beginning of the end of fossil fuel dependance. Hopefully these changes would also come with a lower price tag on energy costs for citizens

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Private investments in solar energy soar

Along with increasing public interest in development of solar power, the private sector is now ready to get in on the action. Last year, Exelon and Next Era Energy, two of the biggest utility companies in the country, bought solar power farms in California. The solar farms were purchased in very early stages of development and are both large properties.

Mammoth Bank of America has also partnered with NRG Energy and Prologis real estate firm to invest $1.4 billion for the construction of solar power panels on 750 commercial rooftops. The companies will then charge for the solar energy production

Individual companies are switching to solar power

Not only have there been major developments by the federal government and private sector leaders, it’s becoming more and more common to see individual businesses making the switch to solar power. Ikea, the Swedish home ware giant has converted to solar power in many locations.

A location in Houston, TX has recently been converted to complete solar power after construction of a 116,400 square-foot photovoltaic system is made of 3,388 solar power panels. The system will be able to produce about 1.15 million kilowatts hours of solar energy annually, which will reduce their environmental footprint by the equivalent of eliminating emissions from 156 cars every year.

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Thanks, Susan!

Susan Wells  is a freelance blogger who enjoys writing about automotive and health news, technology, lifestyle and personal finance. She often researches and writes about automobile, property and health insurance, helping consumers find free insurance quotes  and the best protection available. Susan welcomes comments.

Cheers,

Rob.

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Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.