Environmental benefits of solar power
Let’s face it. We all are contributing one of the most serious threats to the environment today by making use of the conventional fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. As a solution to the harmful effects of these fossil fuel s on our mother earth, Solar power has evolved as a major winner. This is the best source of energy in the sense that it offers the benefits of cleanliness and renewability. The environmental benefit of solar panels is worth admiring. It is estimated that a single, 4-kilowatt residential solar power system can nullify about 2, 00,000 pounds of carbon dioxide for 25 years and this amount is equivalent to planting almost 2,316 trees. Huge solar power systems which are installed in apartments or business suites can counterbalance the effect of 178 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 30 years.
The major environmental benefits of solar power include:
- Renewable energy source: The best part about using the sun as a means of generating power is that it is a renewable source of energy available in abundance. An important fact-If we could capture all the sunshine on the earth for even one single hour, then we could produce sufficient energy to power the households of the entire world and that too for one whole year. Solar power does not take away anything from the environment and does not require any mining or drilling. All it takes is some machines to utilise the sunshine. That is simply amazing. Isn’t it?
- Reduced carbon footprint: If we talk about carbon dioxide emissions at the global level then it is estimated that buildings in the United States produce about 39 percent of all carbon emissions. On the contrary, solar power contributes 96 to 98 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuel generated electricity. Installation of solar power would reduce carbon footprint a lot and if this trend is followed in all homes then there would be a drastic reduction in carbon footprint.
- Improvement in public health: Solar power results in an improvement in public health by helping cut carbon emissions and fossil fuel burning. Places using solar power are said to report very few cases of chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiovascular problems resulting in low absence from work, higher life expectancy and reduced mortality rates.
- Low water usage: Solar power helps in saving the most precious natural resource-water. It does not require much water to operate unlike coal or nuclear plants. As per the figures, solar energy utilises 86 to 89 percent less water than coal-produced electricity in all its processes. This benefit of solar power helps in protecting the environment a great deal.