Solar Adoption is about Pollution, Health, and Safety

By Sam Baker
October 07, 2015

Solar energy i.e. energy from the sun provides a consistent and steady source of solar power. As our non-renewable resources are set to decline in the years to come, it is important for us to move towards renewable sources of energy. The main benefit of solar energy is that it can be easily used by both home and business users as it does not require any huge set up like in case of wind or geothermal power. Solar energy not only benefits individual owners, but also benefits the environment as well.


Environmental Benefits

1. Energy from the sun is infinite and free.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, of all resources on Earth, solar energy is the most abundant. The sun delivers more energy to Earth each hour than the entire population uses in a year. At any given moment, 173,000 terawatts of solar energy is reaching the earth. That's 10,000X the amount of energy we use as a planet.

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2. Solar is a natural process that produces power without waste or emissions.

Fossil fuels must be burned to produce electricity. Burning them creates unwanted byproducts that can create air and water pollution and release huge amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

Compared with electricity from coal, PV electricity over its lifetime uses 86 to 89 percent less water, occupies or transforms over 80 percent less land, presents approximately 95 percent lower toxicity to humans, contributes 92 to 97 percent less to acid rain, and 97 to 98 percent less to marine eutrophication (the discharge of excess nutrients that causes algal blooms.)

According to the International Panel on Climate Change, based on comparative life-cycle analyses of power sources, PV electricity contributes 96 percent to 98 percent less greenhouse gases than electricity generated from coal and natural gas.

3. Solar energy does not create erosion or ecologic or geologic instability.

Fossil fuels must be extracted and transported before they can be used. The process is detrimental to the land due to erosion and ecological and geologic instability. Fossil fuels are also finite. Energy from the sun does not require extraction or transportation and is infinite and free.

Health Benefits

Generating electricity from Solar rather than fossil fuels offers significant public health benefits. The air and water pollution emitted by coal and natural gas plants is linked to breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, and cancer. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy has been found to reduce premature mortality and lost workdays, and it reduces overall healthcare costs.

In addition, wind and solar energy require essentially no water to operate and thus do not pollute water resources or strain supply by competing with agriculture, drinking water systems, or other important water needs. In contrast, fossil fuels can have a significant impact on water resources. For example, both coal mining and natural gas drilling can pollute sources of drinking water.

Safety Benefits

Fossil Fuels such as kerosene, gasoline, diesel, coal are all combustible materials. Solar energy is naturally produced by the sun and thus, by itself is a much safer alternative.

In theory, it’s possible for any electrical device to cause a fire. Electrical fires can result from arcing due to faulty wiring, defective soldering, ground faults, insulation faults, corrosion or rodent damage. While solar panels aren’t immune to these incidents, they do have to meet international inspection and testing standards in order to make it to market. The fact is that fires caused by solar panels are extremely rare, and most of these are due to improper installation by inexperienced installers.

View our 2018 Solar Starter Guide

Solar energy is a renewable resource that provides a long-lasting, clean alternative to traditional fossil fuels, without harmful byproducts such as carbon dioxide, smog, green house gases, and acid rain. There are many advantages that solar energy has to offer over traditional sources of energy like coal and oil.

 

Sam Baker

Written By

Sam Baker

Sam is a Project Manager at Pick My Solar and a solar energy enthusiast.

More articles by Sam Baker

What's Pick My Solar? We empower our customers to adopt clean energy through transparency and choice. Our free, no-obligation platform provides competing solutions from top providers.

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