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As solar technology steadily improves and becomes more affordable, many big businesses and homeowners alike are switching to this renewable energy form, making it clear that solar energy is the way of the future.

The good news is that making the switch to solar energy is important for a for both individuals and the world as a whole for both environmental and economic reasons. Read on to learn five of our favorite reasons why solar energy is important.

1. It is a clean energy source

One of the top reasons solar energy is important for the future, is that it does not create harmful emissions like the fossil fuels that we currently rely on for much of our electricity within the United States and across the globe. These fossil fuels include coal, oil, and gasoline.

In addition to contributing to global warming, the harmful emissions produced by traditional energy production pollute our air and waterways. Solar energy is a clean energy source that does not have these harmful effects on the environment – providing us with an effective alternative to fossil fuels.

2. It does not contribute to global warming

Along the same lines, solar energy is also important because it does not contribute to global warming like traditional forms of power derived from fossil fuels.

In 2012, the EPA estimated that electricity production contributed to 32 percent of greenhouse gas emissions for the year, which is significant considering the many negative effects on our environment created by these emissions.

Considering the proportion of green house gas emissions produced by energy production, many experts think solar power could be one of the most viable solutions to curbing global warming and preserving our environment for future generations.

3. It is renewable

Fossil fuels like coal and oil are limited in nature, while solar energy relies on the sun – a virtually limitless resource. In fact the sun is such an abundant source of energy, that the amount of sunlight the earth receives from the sun in just one hour, could provide enough electricity to meet worldwide demand for an entire year!

4. It is affordable

Unlike fossil fuels, energy from the sun is completely free! Although the upfront costs of installing solar panels can be costly, making the switch to solar energy has been shown to create significant savings for homeowners in the long term, with average savings over a 20-year period estimated to be around $20,000 per household.

5. It is good for our country

Solar energy is also an important factor in creating energy independence in the United States. By focusing efforts on expanding solar energy, we are working towards a more secure energy future for our nation and supporting energy created within our country.

As the solar energy sector rapidly grows within the United States it is also creating many new employment opportunities which, in turn, benefit the economy as a whole.