You know that solar panels help protect the environment. But do you know how? Most of us can only speak to the monetary pros of a home solar panel system; the increase in property value, variety of rebates and incentives, and the ability to significantly reduce electricity costs. Here we cover the environmental benefits of solar energy, further strengthening the argument to make the switch to renewable power.
Combating Greenhouse Gas Emissions
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, human activities are to blame for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the last 150 years. What does the EPA note as the second-largest source of emissions? Electricity production.
With 63 percent of our electricity coming from burning fossil fuels, we're doing some serious damage to Mother Nature. Greenhouse gases work to stop the heat we get from the sun from leaving the atmosphere. Without these gases, Earth would be extremely cold.
However, over the years, we've tipped the scale too much in the opposite direction. Now we're burning fossil fuels at an alarming rate and Earth is warming up, as too much heat is being trapped. So how can we slow global warming? For starters, by cutting down on electricity production. Enter, the solar panel system.
As solar panels convert rays from the sun into electricity, no burning of fossil fuels is required.
Since panels do not emit greenhouse gases, they are a smart way to generate the electricity we need.
Reducing the Use of Fossil Fuels
On the whole, the world is very dependent on fossil fuels as energy sources. Since fossil fuels are things like coal and crude oil, they are non-renewable. Once we've used them up, they're gone forever.
Fossil fuels produce massive quantities of carbon dioxide when burned. Since carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, we've trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle that while, yes, is allowing us to meet our energy needs in the short term, is destroying our planet in the process. By using alternative sources of energy, we're helping to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Another reason solar energy is good for the environment? The ability to save a tremendous amount of water!
Traditional electric power plants need huge amounts of water to cool off. Since solar panels don't need water to cool themselves, that adds up to tons of water being saved over the lifetime of a solar panel system.
Additionally, as we reduce our need for fossil fuels, we reduce our need for fracking. Fracking is the process in which fossil fuel companies drill for natural resources. High-pressure liquid is used to "fracture" underground rocks so that the resources can be extracted. What is this high-pressure liquid? Mostly water. This equates to millions of gallons of water being used every year to frack wells. Since fresh, clean water is needed for this process, this puts a significant strain on our much-needed water supply.
What Benefits the Environment Benefits Us
An important thing to keep in mind: what benefits the environment directly benefits us. Less greenhouse gas emissions? Curbing global warming while providing cleaner air for us to breathe. Reducing dependance on fossil fuels? No more costly bills for us to pay. Saving water? More water for us.
If you're ready to save yourself money over the years while protecting the environment, get started with solar panel installation today!