Virtuous Cycle: A beneficial cycle of events, each having a positive effect on the next.
Mutually beneficial. Win-win situation. Common phrases we hear time and again which can be applied to many situations. However, they stop short when we are discussing a truly Virtuous Cycle of occurrences as defined by a complex, self-reinforcing loop of events that yields positive results or feedback. Virtuous Cycles are present in a number of industries and in a variety of forms: rotational grazing in farming, quality urban design, technological innovation and the water cycle.
A brand new Virtuous Cycle is fast emerging: the adoption of rooftop solar energy systems and Electric Vehicles. This one uniquely benefits individual owners and consumers in addition to large investors, governments and communities. Picture a common scenario: a person buys a car, drives it for 10 years, and at the same time, buys a house, and lives in it for 20 years. For each of these years, this individual must buy gasoline, spending an average of $1,600* per year. This fuel must be piped or shipped to them from out of state or out of country, sending more than $1,500 per year out of their community. At the same time, this individual must buy power from their utility to the average tune of $1,560* per year in Florida. Assuming it is powered mainly by natural gas – the predominant Florida power source – they send another +/- $1,000 per year out of their community to import the resource (Florida produces zero natural gas).
Now, picture the same scenario where the car is an electric vehicle and the home is powered by solar panels, which provide electricity for the house and fuel for the car. Between the savings on electricity and gasoline, and factoring in the additional electricity cost to power the vehicle, the net household benefit of a solar-EV home is $2,560* per year.
This virtuous cycle of hyper-local clean power production and consumption reaches beyond the individual household. The solar panels were manufactured in Florida, and installed by a Florida-based company. Not only are the initial jobs retained near the community, an additional $2,500+ per year over the next two decades remains local. The multiplier effect of keeping this money available to spend on local businesses, shops, restaurants, schools, charities, etc. is far more powerful than just $2,500. It creates a Virtuous Cycle of economic growth within the surrounding community, where instead of importing single-use energy sources ad infinitum, investment is made locally, costs are saved, air is cleaner (through a reduction in tailpipe emissions thanks to the EV) and communities are more prosperous.
The really cool thing is that this Virtuous Cycle is already a reality. Optimus Solar can provide a number of real-life, current examples where this system is in place, and operating for the benefit of residents and communities. Electric Vehicles are nearly on-par with gas-powered vehicles in terms of costs, especially when fuel-savings is accounted for. Solar energy systems provide a return to a homeowner that has a better annual percentage than the S&P 500. This is a real investment with real, tangible, attractive returns.
This Virtuous Cycle is scalable in ways most others are not. It saves households money while simultaneously contributing to an overall improvement in quality of life throughout a community. Local governments and businesses would do well to take note of this fact. We can’t find many more effective ways to measurably improve quality of life than through this Virtuous Cycle, which conserves land, cleans the air, saves household expenses, improves home values and invests locally. By investing in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and large-scale solar energy systems, municipalities and businesses can create Virtuous Cycles for themselves and the people they serve for decades to come.
Homeowners and businesses invested in their communities and interested in participating in a truly Virtuous Cycle of sustainable growth can reach out to us for discussion and further information.
*figures are based on national averages within the US