It is a widely known fact that going solar is the best way to become energy independent and reduce electricity bills. However, in addition to the financial side, it also has huge benefits for our planet. Switching to solar energy on a large scale would have a profound positive environmental impact and we all can be a part of it.
The key advantages of solar energy on the environment are:
Reducing air pollution
Unlike the use of fossil fuels, which emit high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and cause severe health and ecological damage, sunlight is free, renewable, infinite, and a green source of the energy. Breathing poor quality air on a daily basis can have grave consequences on our health. Using solar energy significantly reduces human carbon footprint which immediately results in cleaner air.
On average, coal contributes over 16 times the amount of CO2 emissions, while natural gas contributes over 7 times the amount of CO2 emissions compared to solar energy. The clear winner is solar energy and its advantages are doubtless compared to fossil fuels.
Using less water
Traditional electricity production can use thousands of liters of water each year. Water is used for cooling generators, processing and refining fuel, and transporting fuel through pipes.
On average, a coal-fired power plant consumes 530 Litres of water to produce 1000 kWh of electricity while 38 L of water is required to extract enough natural gas to generate the same amount of power, according to a study from the Virginia Water Resources Research Center. However, producing power through solar panels uses no water which saves our existing water supply a lot.
Slowing down climate change
Generating electricity from solar panels produces no greenhouse gases, so it can play a huge role in reducing negative environmental effects if used widely. Of course, all forms of energy production have some impact on the natural environment. However, it has been proven that the environmental impact of solar energy is minimal compared to that of fossil fuel energy.3
Coal ranges from about 800 – 1250 grams of CO2 per kWh. Natural gas can range from 360 – 575 grams of CO2 per kWh. With solar energy powering a home or business, there is no burning of fuel and no emissions from energy production. That’s why solar energy is one of the best ways to tackle accelerated climate change.
Why go solar
Solar energy is one of the best ways we can try to prevent the effects of climate change. By reducing our footprint and releasing fewer pollutants into the air, we can all do our part to slow down climate change.
On average, one 10 kW solar roof eliminates around 4 tons of carbon emissions annually, which is roughly equivalent to planting over 100 trees per year. Larger installations can have 10 times the effect. In fact, even one residential solar installation has a measurable effect on the environment.