Published on Friday, July 21, 2017
6 Environmental Benefits of Home Solar Panels
We all know that clean renewable energy is the future. Solar panels are an excellent example of clean energy at work. But how exactly do solar panels function and why are they so great for the environment?
Here are 6 environmental benefits of outfitting your home with solar panels.
Solar panels reduce our dependence on fossil fuels: By switching to solar, you and your family help reduce our overall dependence on fossil fuels that contribute to greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Traditional fossil fuels like coal and gas are very dangerous for the environment. They are also quite costly as their price fluctuates based on the finite supply.
Solar panels reduce air pollution: When fossil fuels are burned, they release carbon dioxide and methane gas into the air. These gases are directly responsible for our staggering rates of climate change. By making the switch to solar panels, you’re helping to rid our environment of these toxic gases. The average 4 kilowatt household can offset 200,000 pounds of CO2 emissions in 25 years by switching to solar energy - that’s the equivalent of planting 2316 trees or not driving over 200,000 miles.
Solar panels reduce water pollution and consumption: Traditional power plants require large amounts of water in order to produce the energy we consume. They use this water as a cooling mechanism, especially in times of drought or heat waves. Solar power is the opposite - the sun excels at creating solar energy in droughts and heat waves. While solar power does require some water for production, it uses 86-89% less water than traditional coal electricity. Solar energy does not run the risk of polluting water sources or using valuable drinking water the way coal electricity does.
Solar panels are renewable: Solar energy is renewable - the sun isn’t going to run out of power for another 4.5 billion years. As such, it’s a relatively inexhaustible energy source. In addition, solar energy’s renewable trait means it is a lot less damaging to the earth. Compared to coal energy, solar energy is 95% less toxic to humans, creates 92-97% less acid rain, uses 80% less land than coal energy production and creates 97% to 98% less marine eutrophication.
Solar panels help the grid: By switching to solar panels and solar energy, you are creating less of a burden on your local energy grid. You are no longer relying on the traditional coal electricity grid to power your home. This means that your area will experience less brownouts and blackouts as the grid isn’t overworked - this is especially important in areas that rely on constant electricity, like hospitals. In addition, if you are connected to the grid with net monitoring, you can pour excess solar energy back into the grid for others to use. You’ll be sharing clean, renewable and sustainable energy with your community.
Solar panels create jobs in clean energy: Lastly, one of the indirect environmental benefits of using solar panels is the creation of more jobs in clean energy. As we transition away from fossil fuels, we need bright minds and busy hands working to make clean energy a reality for everyone. Everytime someone purchases a solar panel, we are increasing the demand on the market and making expansion and jobs in clean energy possible.
In addition to these great environmental benefits, solar panels are financially beneficial as well. With solar panels, you are able to significantly reduce (and in some cases, even eliminate) your energy bill. Many states have large tax credits and rebates that homeowners can apply for once they install solar panels. And solar panels are great at increasing the resale price of your home and extending the life of your roof.
So why not go solar?
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