The first thing to come to people’s minds when they hear the words “solar energy” typically isn’t climate change. It’s a known fact that solar energy is a renewable resource, but did you realize it’s a carbon-free resource with enormous potential to reduce our nation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? This is just one of the many ways solar energy helps benefit not only us but also the earth. Read on to read the ways solar can positively impact you and the environment.
About GHG Emissions
One of the biggest sources of GHGs is electricity production, which was responsible for 26.9 percent of the 2018 greenhouse gas emissions. Although the manufacturing and recycling of solar panels do produce some GHG emissions, solar energy itself plays a huge part in helping mitigate climate change caused by these GHG’s.
Solar panels are one of the most accessible and easiest renewable energy resources available on the market, both residential and commercial. It has been shown that the US can avoid about 17.5 million tons (MT) of CO2 by using solar panels. Even one home with solar panels can have a quantifiable impact on the environment. As an example, the switch from fossil fuels to solar power in the average Connecticut home has the same emissions reduction effect as planting around 150 trees every year. This means that not only are they producing clean energy, but they’re also a sustainable way to produce electricity. Less GHG’s = less climate change.
Reduce Your Water Usage To Benefit The Environment
Solar energy can also help reduce water usage. While many energy sources use fossil fuels, there are many that don’t and those that don’t probably use water. For example, hydropower and nuclear energy both use an abundance of water to produce electricity. Hydropower specifically isn’t very sustainable and tends to cause damage to the environment it impacts. Luckily, solar panels can create energy without water, and therefore not have a negative impact on the environment like hydropower does. In fact, the US Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy believes that solar energy could help drop water consumption in at least 36 states.
Improve The Air Quality
Circling back to our first point about GHG’s and fighting climate change, another positive impact of solar energy is increased air quality. By reducing the harmful GHG’s through the replacement of fossil-fuel electricity with solar energy electricity, the respiratory health risks directly caused by GHG’s are reduced as well. Additionally, solar energy can help reverse the erratic weather patterns as a result of climate change and the health impacts associated, such as increased dust and particulate matter from frequent droughts or increased mold spores from frequent precipitation that otherwise wouldn’t be normal.
Use Solar Energy to Save Money
Aside from its environmental benefits, solar can also benefit you and your wallet. It’s been discussed that solar panels can save you money, but did you know that the average home can save between $10,000 and $30,000 over the solar panel system’s lifetime? Although installing solar panels does cost more upfront, they will be offset by the savings in your energy bill. It is important to remember however that having solar panels doesn’t mean your electric bill will disappear completely. Check out this handy calculator to estimate how much you could save by switching to solar.
Overall, if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, a major way to do this is by using solar panels and utilizing the sun’s energy. It’s clear to see that using solar energy benefits the environment and you in multiple ways and ultimately helps save our planet. Take your first steps to use solar energy by contacting us today about solar panels!
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