Half the people who make the switch to solar are doing it for financial reasons, because the sun is a free source of energy. But a second half of them are switching based on environmental reasons. Let’s discuss the environmental benefits of going solar.
Using solar power reduces air pollution significantly. An analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) proved that solar power, if it’s used by enough people, could largely reduce nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and other toxins that are related to common health problems. Diseases such as chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and other health issues could be significantly decreased.
Photovoltaic cells don’t need water to generate energy or cool things down, unlike most traditional gas and coal-fueled facilities. Coal ash is known to damage local water supplies, which is wasting our natural resources that could be used for agriculture, drinking, and more. Solar systems don’t contaminate our water, and rely on only the sun for energy.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
It’s no news that greenhouse gases (which are produced through the burning of fossil fuels) is one of the leading causes of climate warming. These gases, when burned, can be very harmful for the environment. By switching to solar energy and decreasing the use of fossil fuels, you’re contributing less to this problem and lowering your carbon footprint. Making the switch to solar is basically like planting 150 trees a year. Choosing clean energy can lower the use of carbon emissions that would result from burning around 5,000 pounds of coal each year.
Going Solar Creates Jobs
Since the solar industry has grown so much (by 168 percent since 2010), over 250,000 jobs have been created. While the coal industry keeps lots of people employed, 10 percent more are employed in the solar industry. Not only that - but 10 percent of solar jobs are held by veterans.
When you live in a densely populated land with lots of people using electricity, you may think - why bother going solar? But in areas with low population, there’s a lot of land going unused. By using solar power plants, we can make use of this land to generate energy and increase it’s value. Solar farms are panels that are used to soak up energy in greater amounts. Recently, in the UK, a 45 acre solar farm has been built with the capability to power 2,500 homes.
Listed above are only a few of the benefits. By switching to solar you’re benefiting those around you, the environment, plant and animal life, and your own physical health. Reducing your need for finite sources is a key to living a sustainable life.