Solar power isn't a new concept, yet it still hasn't gone entirely mainstream. High costs, the panels' aesthetic, and under-performing technology are all factors that are holding solar energy back from reaching its full potential. Now, over a century since its conception, solar power's capacity to generate clean energy is finally grabbing the attention it deserves, thanks to a start-up aptly named Powerhouse.
Unlike most other clean energy start-ups, Powerhouse isn't representing a single product or a distinct technology. Rather, the company is a resource for growth in the solar power sector. Powerhouse uses networking and funding to push the green energy initiative forward; A very useful and welcomed tool in the mission to make renewable energy accessible.
Breaking Down Powerhouse's Model
Powerhouse offers an accelerator and an incubator program. The accelerator program offers start-ups a range of different perks, based on their needs. Affordable office space, small amounts of funding, and networking amongst investors and customers are just a few of the tools attainable in Powerhouse's business model. In downtown Oakland, California, Powerhouse owns an enormous office building for co-working spaces and office spaces alike. Since its launch in 2013, Powerhouse has already provided thousands of dollars to 15 different solar power start-ups from its incubator program.
Basically, Powerhouse serves as a common ground for the solar power sector. Their resources available to investors, start-ups, and established companies are moving everyone towards Powerhouses' main goal: To make solar power the most accessible energy source in the world.
To make solar power so accessible is certainly not a small task. There are multiple obstacles in the way, many of which Powerhouse is actively tackling. A lack of government funding, steep utility prices, and a general sense of the unknowns of solar energy are all roadblocks in the journey of solar power. Additionally, solar start-ups find it challenging to make the initial partnerships with existing companies. Often times, the older and more established energy companies are wary of adopting solar power into their business models.
Powerhouse's connections and tools make it possible for solar energy start-ups to partner with larger energy companies
Notoriously high prices and ineffective technology are typical concerns when it comes to solar power. For years, the bad reputation of solar energy has masked its potential. But improved science and energy conversion rates are proving solar energy to be an extremely effective clean energy alternative. And with the innovation and improved technology comes the opportunity for reduced pricing on solar power. In fact, the last ten years have shown a dramatic decrease in solar power pricing. Homeowners are now able to afford the installation price of panels, which in turn reduces their energy bills in general.
However, rules and regulations still often stand in the way of clean energy innovation. Minimal funding is a huge concern for solar power start-ups, considering the steep price it costs to just get started. Then, there's the issue of time. Permits are often needed for the installation of solar panels, and the application and granting process can take months on end.
With Powerhouse, the resources are all in place to get things moving. Arguably more important, the support system is in place to reassure start-ups and nurture them as they mature to clean energy powerhouses themselves. Ultimately, Powerhouse's programs and funding are creating a platform for the betterment of our environmental health locally and worldwide.
The Importance of Clean Energy
As time goes on, concerns continue to grow about the health of our environment. For years, burning coal and careless usage of fossil fuels have been the norm. But now, all of our heavy energy usages are catching up to us, and the results are grim. We're living in an over-polluted, climate-destroying environment, and the time is running out to turn the whole situation around.
According to scientists at a recent UN climate science panel in South Korea, the current outlook on climate change isn't positive. Their research shows that the action being taken to prevent climate change simply isn't enough. Even if we were to follow all of the clean energy recommendations, the earth will still experience catastrophic changes over the next few years.
While the panel did take on a more negative outlook, it may serve as a catalyst for change. We have neglected climate change as a serious concern for decades. Shrugging off its importance or even denying its existence has set us back many years. But now, with growing awareness and an increased emphasis on climate health, things are looking up.
One of the most important players in the movement towards clean energy is solar power. By taking energy from the sun's rays, we can effectively avoid the need for fossil fuel consumption significantly. It's a clean, carbon-free method for giving households and businesses the energy they need, sans the environmental costs. This is particularly true when it comes to the usage of electricity. Because electricity contributes so heavily to CO2 emissions, finding clean, alternative energy sources can greatly reduce our carbon footprints.
Solar technology has improved over the years, with panels able to produce enough solar energy for more than one home
With Powerhouse's programs and funding, the journey towards making solar energy a mainstream commodity is tangible. It may take years of research and consumer adoption, but the promise of a future of clean energy is at least plausible. Powerhouse's tools and their extensive list of connections are making partnerships in the solar energy sector achievable, with a great turnaround rate.
As of right now, there are roughly 1.3 million solar panel installations in the United States. These installations produce enough solar energy to power 6.5 million households across the country. While the effectiveness increases and the price decreases, we can expect to see more solar installations sweeping the country, if not the world. Ultimately, the science and technology is all there, it's just a matter of putting it to use.