Solar, fossil fuels, and the longterm economic dominance of the United States.

The United States produces 16,500 barrels of oil daily, the largest producer of oil on the planet. Most of that oil is purchased domestically, with 12% of American oil being sold on the export market.

The USA is also the top producer of natural gas, producing 934 billion cubic meters in 2021.  

39% of our national power grid uses natural gas turbines to generate electricity, so the majority of our natural gas production is also used right here in the United States. As rooftop solar becomes commonplace there will be less need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity.

This is also true for electric cars, as more drivers replace a gasoline powered vehicle with a fully electric vehicle. For EV drivers with (paid off) rooftop solar they are essentially fueling their vehicles off sunshine!

A small solar array on every home and business, combined with 1 electric car in every driveway would allow the United States to export more oil and natural gas, which would make the US dollar stronger and grow our economy even further.   

In 2022 the USA is expected to exceed $25 trillion in GDP, in a global economy with a total of $100 trillion in economic output. Americans represent 4% of the global population yet produce 25% of the global wealth!

The United States has had the largest economy in the world since 1871, and as the top producer of oil and natural gas we are poised to maintain our economic dominance for many years to come.

As this blog is being written the Inflation Reduction Act has been passed by the Senate and is moving through Congress this week, with the expectation that it will be passed and signed by President Biden soon after. One part of this Act is an extension of the 30% federal tax credit for solar, a measure that will continue to keep solar prices down and make solar more available for middle class homeowners. There is also a tax credit for buyers of used electric cars, which makes EV’s more affordable for lower income Americans. 

There is a shortage of electric cars on the market due to high demand as well as the computer chip shortage resulting from the Covid pandemic. As the chip shortage is mitigated there will be more EV’s available for sale, and eventually these new cars will show up far cheaper on the used marketplace.

At Tampa Bay Solar we’re seeing a huge uptick in customers who buy electric cars then add rooftop solar to their home. This is not only beneficial to our client’s wallets, but also reduces the amount of fossil fuels used to power that house and that car.

We primarily use Mission solar panels manufactured in San Antonio, Texas. We are doing our part to use American made products when possible, and Mission panels have proven to be the MOST reliable panels we’ve ever installed, with zero failed panels to date.

Even with solar on every roof and all ground transportation converted to kilowatts there will still be a need for fossil fuels in jet planes, making plastic products, home heating, and basic lubrication for machinery. There will be a global demand for fossil fuels even 50 years from now, so if the United States can pump LESS oil now that oil will be sold in future dollars at a high premium.  

In this regard reducing our domestic consumption of oil and natural gas today will reap huge economic benefits when the rest of the world runs out of these finite resources and has to buy them from American fossil fuel producers.

The Inflation Reduction Act will encourage EV and rooftop solar ownership, thus making the American economy far stronger in the long run.

Ben Alexander

Shareholder @ Tampa Bay Solar

August 8th, 2022

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