Solar power is an alternative energy source for consuming fossil fuels and has a number of benefits for the environment that has caused it to rise in popularity and use recently. Since 1977, the cost for solar panels themselves has dropped nearly 99%. Solar power is the fastest-growing source of electricity that is being installed currently across the United States and for good reason. Not only does it host a number of environmental benefits, but it is also cost-effective. Listed below are 7 different items that you should know regarding solar power and how it impacts the world we live in.
- Reduces Air Pollution
Using solar power positively impacts the air we breathe because it doesn’t require fuels to be burnt or consumed while it produces energy. On the other hand, fossil fuels being burnt emit different greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. These greenhouse gases being emitted from fossil fuels contributing to global warming. Additionally, some cities in the world are starting to have days where the air quality has become so poor that people are warned to not go outside.
- Reduces Water Pollution
Studies have found that nearly 75% of toxic water pollution comes from coal plants. Therefore, using solar panels indirectly helps to decrease the amount of water being polluted from coal energy. Water can also become quite contaminated through the use of fossil fuels such as oil or radioactive waste spilling into rivers and streams. The implementation of solar energy will help prevent these sources of water pollution as well.
- It’s Renewable
This is one of the most obvious benefits to the environment but it is important regardless. Solar energy is the most abundant form of energy that exists on Earth. It can be harvested as long as there is light, where there is for at least 12 hours a day in most areas. Unlike coal and oil which are finite resources, the sun’s energy is sustainable. Not only is it sustainable, but solar energy is also an extremely portable and deployable form of energy. After disasters such as a hurricane, solar panels are some of the most widely used sources of energy installed to provide a source of energy while the power grid is being repaired. Whether the repair of a power grid takes days, weeks, or months, solar panels can provide a reliable source of energy after a disaster.
- Saves Water Usage
Not only do other forms of energy pollute water, but they also use large amounts of water. Nuclear plants draw a vast amount of water from rivers and streams. It is estimated that solar energy will reduce water consumption by 9% from power plants by 2050.
Nuclear plants don’t emit greenhouse gases, but they have the potential to release a large amount of radioactive waste which include plutonium and uranium. Solar panels are not able to spill radioactive toxins in the case of a reactor meltdown or unexpected emergency.
In recent years, solar panels have become extremely cost-effective for homeowners depending on the geography of the homes that they are installed in. Some homeowners in the U.S. have even been able to make back the money they invested on solar panels in as little as three years, while the average is around 5-8 years. It is estimated that the average savings per home over the course of 20 years is approximately 20,000 dollars. The cost of solar installation has also been reduced in recent years. While saving money isn’t a direct impact on the environment, it allows people to have more money and resources to spend on purchasing more sustainable and environmentally friendly projects in the future.
- Job Creation
Solar energy is creating many jobs across the nation. In 2016, nearly 40% of new electricity being installed was solar. The new installations are causing many different jobs to be created. Not only are the jobs being created for installation but also for manufacturing and also for maintaining the systems.
Solar energy is a form of energy that has many different impacts on the environment. Some of these impacts include reducing air pollution, reducing water pollution, it’s renewable, saving water usage, radioactivity, it’s cost-effective, and solar energy helps to create jobs. To learn more information about solar panels, as well as solar installation and cost, visit gemenergy.com.au/solar-panels-emerald/.