|Despite falling oil prices, industry analysts say renewable solar power faces no real threat of demise, according to CNBC.
Although solar power stocks have dropped over the last couple of months, and oil prices have done the same, solar and oil cater to two very different audiences. For the most part, they also serve very different purposes.
While oil relies heavily on the business of the transportation industry, solar energy is used mostly by public electric utility companies and large corporations. Most of the world’s electricity comes from coal, natural gas and nuclear power — not oil, which, according to CNBC, accounts for only 5% of electricity worldwide.
“Even with the price of oil being lower, cheaper materials have made solar still far more practical,” says Jeff Osbourne, an analyst with the investment research company Cowen Group.
Many large companies in the United States have taken notice of the practicality of solar power and are starting to rethink the way they use energy. In fact, more companies have started to make use of their extensive roof space to capture the power of the sun.
Over the last 15 years, the use of solar energy has increased by about 20% per year. This trend has been greatly helped along by companies like Walmart, Kohl’s, Costco, Ikea and Macy’s, all who have started installing solar arrays on building rooftops. Walmart is leading the pack, with hopes of becoming 100% renewable by the year 2020, according to Business Insider.
Technology companies have also joined in, installing solar arrays to actually power company operations. Apple, Intel, Verizon and ATandT are all among the top technology companies starting the push towards solar.
While they are not doing so to the degree of these large corporations, homeowners are also contributing to the rise of solar energy. For those who can afford the high start up costs, solar arrays require very little maintenance after being installed and can greatly decrease home energy costs.