Using alternative, renewable energy—wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric— is the way of the future. Renewable energy, especially solar power, is a fantastic option if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly energy source that provides substantial benefits for our climate, health, and economy. Solar power helps to slow global warming, doesn’t create air pollution, and greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Renewable Energy Source
Solar power comes from a practically inexhaustible source. Energy sources like fossil fuel are limited and cause damage to the environment. When you’re using a renewable energy source, such as solar power, you’re not taking away anything from the environment. Solar power is also easier on carbon emissions, health impacts, water, land use, and health impacts when compared to typical electricity generated by natural gas or coal in fossil fuel plants. Switching to solar power will create less dependency on the grid, reducing the community’s dependence on fossil fuel for electricity. This means that the grid doesn’t have to work as hard to meet electricity needs, which can reduce brownouts and blackouts.
Decreases Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Generating electricity using solar power can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide. What exactly are Greenhouse gases? A greenhouse gas is any gaseous compound in the atmosphere that’s capable of absorbing infrared radiation, which traps heat in the atmosphere. This causes the greenhouse effect, which leads to global warming. Greenhouse gases are one of the leading contributors to serious environmental and public health issues in the North East, such as rising sea levels, weather events, and ecosystem damage. But how can just one residential building help the decrease of greenhouse gases, just by switching to solar power? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average home with solar panels in Connecticut uses 8,756 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. Switching from fossil fuels to solar power has the same emissions reduction effect as planting 155 trees every year.
Less Water Use
The generation of solar power, unlike coal, natural gas, and nuclear power, doesn’t require water to generate electricity. This means that solar power will work even during a drought or heat wave. This also means that solar power won’t pollute water resources or put a strain on the world’s water supply.
Improves Public Health
Harnessing solar power doesn’t release any pollution into the air, unlike coal and natural gas plants that constantly produce air and water pollution that are harmful to human health. Not only can solar power reduce premature deaths, it will lower overall health care costs.
Reduces Land Development
Rooftop solar development reduces the need for development on public land and the creation of new lots. Whats even better is that solar energy development can make use of lands that have already been disturbed by human use, such as brownfields, by recycling contaminated lands. By focusing development in areas that have low impacts on wildlife, solar power can protect sensitive wildlife habitats.