Environmental Advantages of Solar Energy

While an estimated immediate 20% savings on your electric bill is good for you, installing solar panels on your home also allows you to be good to the environment. Keep reading to learn more about the green side of this win-win proposition.

Installing solar energy has a positive impact on the environment.

Solar energy reduces the emission of greenhouse gasses. Traditional electricity is sourced from fossil fuels like natural gas and coal. When those fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity, they emit harmful gases. Solar power can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emission, in particular carbon dioxide (CO2). This is a significant issue as greenhouse gases are the primary causes of:

  • Air pollution. According to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, widespread solar adoption would significantly reduce nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter emissions, all of which can cause health problems. Additionally, solar power results in less incidence of chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiovascular problems and lost workdays related to health issues.
  • Global Climate Change. Greenhouse gases are scientifically proven to increase global temperatures and climate change which result in an increase in hurricanes, flooding and other extreme weather conditions that are causing injury, deaths and loss of property at a global level.

Solar energy reduces water pollution since solar photovoltaic cells don’t need water to generate electricity. Traditional natural gas and coal-fired facilities require massive amounts of water to cool their critical components. In solar energy, there is no pollution of local water resources from operation. Additionally the extraction of natural gas and storage of coal ash has been proven to damage local water supplies that are necessary for agriculture, drinking systems, and other vital water needs.

Solar energy reduces the dependence on finite resources. Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources, which means they are inherently limited. While they seem plentiful today, we are approaching a time where the world will run out or the cost of finding and extracting these resources from the ground will become too expensive. Using a Solar energy system for power, on the other hand, is a renewable resource that is, and always will be, plentiful in supply. (As an added bonus, a lower dependency on fossil fuel power means less need for new fossil fuel power plants to be built – when given the choice of a solar farm or fracked gas plan in your backyard which would you choose?)

Solar energy produces little waste. While some consider nuclear energy a “green energy” source, nuclear waste, is dangerous and must be safely stored somewhere for thousands of years. The spent nuclear fuel must also be heavily guarded for national security reasons. This makes the costs of storing nuclear waste significant and necessary. Energy generated using solar technologies does not result in any waste products that can be used in an act of terror. Additionally the solar industry has launched a recycling program for old, used solar panels.

Solar energy is clearly a powerful resource- not only for the personal benefits we can glean, but also the widespread impact it can have on the environment. Find out how you can start harnessing its power by scheduling a free consultation today.

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