Environmental Benefits of Solar
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF SOLAR
There are two primary reasons home and businesses are interested in solar energy: first, the financial benefit; and, second, the environmental benefit.
The electricity produced by solar panels is clean, renewable and emission free.
Whereas most of the electricity generated in the US is produced by burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, generating electricity with solar power and other renewable resources–such as wind and hydropower–does not result in any emissions of carbon dioxide or local air pollutants.
And while extracting and using fossil fuels is expensive and harmful to the environment, solar energy is free and readily abundant – if we could capture all of the sun’s energy shining on the Earth for just one hour, we could power the entire world for one year!
- Here are five environmental benefits of renewable solar energy:
- Reduced Air PollutionFossil fuels create a lot of pollutants including smog and dirty air, which is bad for the environment, your health and for aesthetics. The electricity generated by solar power instead dramatically reduces greenhouse gas emissions (especially CO2), which are produced when fossil fuels are burned. This leads to rising global temperatures and climate change, which contributes to grave environmental and public health issues. Most Bay Area residents see the harm these greenhouse gases cause firsthand every year with harmful and increasingly frequent wildfires.Going solar reduces the demand for fossil fuels, limits the amount of greenhouse gases released in the atmosphere and shrinks your own carbon footprint.
- Reduced Water UsageIf an energy source doesn’t burn fossil fuels to power it, it likely uses some type of water as its resource. Hydropower and nuclear energy both use a lot of water to produce electricity and often, a dam will be built to control water flow and electricity production. The issue is that damming water can have a significant impact on the local ecosystem. Solar panels generate energy from the sun without the use of water and without having a negative impact on the ecosystem.
- Reduced Dependence on Nonrenewable Energy SourcesIf you want an energy-independent home, going solar is a great first step towards that goal. Plus, solar helps reduce our overall dependence on nonrenewable sources of energy like fossil fuels that create many of the pollutants that negatively impact our air quality. Aside from this, nonrenewable resources are considered nonrenewable because they will run out eventually. The faster we make the transition to renewable energy, the better for our environment and for future generations.
- Improved Long-Term Health for HumansWith cleaner air comes cleaner, more healthy lungs. The US Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy estimates that cleaner air could have a positive impact on human health and because of this, we could save more than 25,000 lives.
- Aids in the Fight Against Climate ChangePollutants and CO2 are consistently being put into the atmosphere at our planet’s expense because it makes it more difficult for the environment to clean the air we breathe. As the amount of carbon that gets trapped in our atmosphere continues to rise, so will the amount of heat our planet retains. In turn, this will continue to affect climates in different areas, causing some to warm or cool significantly and causing more sudden and destructive storms and weather patterns.Scientists and climatologists have reached a general consensus that we need a renewable energy source to help curb the negative effects of climate change. One of those ways is with solar energy since it will help reduce CO2 emissions and release fewer pollutants into the atmosphere.