It is good to know that more and more homeowners are increasingly becoming aware of the environmental impact of relying heavily on fossil fuel to keep their indoor spaces as comfortable as possible. For the past two decades or so, there has been an increased level of awareness and activity geared towards the use of more sustainable sources in the production of energy. There isn’t any doubt that solar power is the most sustainable of all. But while some people think of it as a “free” source of electricity, heating, and cooling, there is more to it than meets the eye. In this article, let us talk about how using solar energy helps in saving the environment.
1 – Solar energy helps in the prevention or reduction of water pollution.
Did you know that thermoelectric, oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy plants require tons of water for cooling? While it seems to be a natural process to use water for cooling, the problem is doing so leads to water pollution. In fact, about 70% of water pollution in the world is attributed to coal-fired power plants. Thankfully, there is an alternative and it comes in the form of solar energy. As a renewable source, it does not pollute bodies of water. Industrial plants can use solar photovoltaic cells to generate power for cooling. Obviously, these cells do not need water to generate power since they get it from the sun.
2 – Solar energy also helps in significantly reducing air pollution.
The production of electricity in the U.S. alone accounts for a little over 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. So, every single time you turn on the lights, plug in the fridge and watch TV, you’re literally contributing to global warming. While it sounds unbelievable, you better believe it. If greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, they do not just reduce air quality but also increase the likelihood of extreme weather like devastating hurricanes, severely cold winters, and huge snowstorms. But if the conventional ways of producing electricity at home are supplemented by a solar energy system, you are in a way mitigating or reducing the damage to the environment. Again, solar power does not create any by-product. There even are times when you produce more energy through the solar panels than what you need, thereby adding some to the power grid and helping everyone in the neighborhood get power without the need to use fossil fuels.
3 – The use of solar energy effectively reduces the creation of hazardous waste.
Every year, the world produces about 400 million tons of hazardous waste. Just by reading that kind of number will cause chills to many. While there are initiatives of disposing of hazardous waste safely, it can’t be denied that a huge percentage of it lies in areas where it causes pollution and harm to people and the environment. A significant percentage of hazardous waste comes from fuel used in generating electricity. So, if more people make the switch to the use of solar power, there will be an expected reduction of radioactive waste production. Also, it can lead to reduced need for fuel transportation and the issue of radioactive waste storage.
While you are busy contemplating on the little ways to reduce your carbon footprint, like when you’re beginning to value the concept of recycling and the use of biodegradable materials, you can take it to the next level by installing a solar power system at home. It is true that the upfront cost of installing one is high, but you sure will get a return on investment in a short period. Just imagine having to heat and cool your home using renewable energy for the most part. It means you save a lot of money since you no longer have to buy as much oil, natural gas, or electricity to be comfortable inside. Aside from saving money, the noblest intention of all is when you know you are helping preserve the environment for the future generations.