• Brian Harbin

How Solar Power is Helping the Environment

There are two main reasons why businesses and homes have developed an interest in solar power, one of which is for the undeniable financial benefits of such a move, while the other relates to the environmental benefits. There are a number of ways in which the move to solar power is helping the environment.

Solar panels are able to create electricity that is clean, free of emissions and renewable. Natural gas and fossil fuels such as coal produce the majority of electricity but using solar power and other renewable resources like hydropower and wind means there are no air pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions produced.

The extraction and use of fossil fuels is both expensive and bad for the environment, while solar power on the other hand is both readily available and free, with just one hour of the sun’s energy being potentially capable of powering the entire world for a whole year.

An investment in solar power means a reduction in the world’s need for fossil fuels in exchange for one of the most consistent and abundant energy sources that is available to humanity – the sun.

Decreasing greenhouse gasses

The generation of electricity with solar power rather than fossil fuels can have a dramatic impact on the production of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, reducing those emissions by a significant amount. The burning of fossil fuels is having a negative environmental impact, creating greenhouse gasses which are responsible for climate change and an increase in temperatures all over the world.

Serious public health and environmental issues have already resulted from climate change but switching to solar power helps to cut down on the need for fossil fuels, shrinks individual carbon footprints and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The installation of a solar energy system by even just one household can have a measurable positive impact on the environment.

Solar power is a clean source of electricity that can drastically reduce the level of carbon emissions that are equivalent to the burning of more than 5000 pounds of coal every year.

Benefits for local air

That very few air pollutants are created by the use of solar power is one of the biggest ways in which solar power is helping the environment. The widespread adoption of solar power could cause a significant reduction in nitrous oxides, particulate matter emissions and sulfur dioxide, all of which can result in health problems. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, solar power would also mean fewer cases of cardiovascular and respiratory problems and chronic bronchitis, not to mention fewer instances of lost workdays caused by health issues.

Reduction in water usage

Many alternative power sources such as nuclear energy and hydropower use a lot of water in the production of electricity. This may require dams to be built for electricity production and water flow control, which could impact the local ecosystem.

Solar panels on the other hand create energy without the need for water and could cause a significant reduction in water consumption as well preventing negative impacts on local ecosystems.

The environmental benefits of solar power can do a great deal to make the world a greener place.

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