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Eco-Powered Everything: The Rise of Solar-Powered Accessories

Will we see a future entirely powered by renewable energy? Here's what to know about the rise of solar-powered accessories.

Written by
Stephanie Osmanski

It used to be that solar panels only went on the roof. But now, they can be found just about anywhere. Cell phones, computers, and other tech are starting to rely on eco-friendly energy—specifically solar energy—for power.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the two million residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar installations in the U.S. today produce enough electricity annually to power more than 12 million American homes. And by 2024, it's predicted that 2.5% of all U.S. homes will have a solar installation.

But wait, there's more. According to a report from Grand Review Research Inc., the global market for portable solar chargers is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2025.

"We’re seeing people younger and younger show interest in solar because they want to take climate action," says Krystal Persaud, founder of Grouphug Solar. "For the current generation, it’s about meeting them where they are and they’re curious and interested in renewable energy. They may not own homes (yet), so right now, we’re seeing a rise in solar accessories."

Grouphug makes a small-scale solar panel that hangs in a bright, sunny window. Once it has enough juice, a USB can be plugged into it and you can charge anything—including your phone. It’s just one example of how eco-power is hot right now.

"Consumers are realizing they can use their voice to make companies respond to the need for sustainability," Persaud adds. "Eco-products are becoming more and more beautiful, which is why I designed an in-home solar panel that can double as home decor."

While installing solar panels is no easy feat, this simple eco-swap can really serve as an intro to a more sustainable lifestyle.

“It’s so important for folks to get hands-on with solar to learn how it works and get comfortable with it,” Persaud says. “I’m all about education, and at Grouphug we regularly host information sessions on solar so it can become less intimidating and overwhelming."

Plus, solar energy isn't just for your roof anymore. We might also be seeing an increase in portable solar panels to use in the car, during an emergency, or while camping. And the great thing about it is that it's renewable, meaning the planet replenishes it without a problem. Renewable energy might just be the answer to providing our world with accessible power—without putting the planet at risk.

All in all, saving the planet is a marathon—not a sprint. And making the switch to eco-powered energy is one key way we can all do better. Lucky for us, eco-powered, renewable energy is readily available. Portable solar panels can be found almost anywhere—even at your local Home Depot or Lowe's.

Whether you need to charge your mobile devices, or you need electricity to power your home in a blackout, solar energy might just be your solution.