What Are the Environmental Benefits of Owning Solar Panels?
As solar technology becomes more affordable, many eco-conscious homeowners are considering solar energy as a green alternative to conventional electricity.
But how exactly do solar panels help the environment?
Solar panels provide four main environmental benefits:
- Reduced water usage
- Lower carbon emissions
- Improved public health
- Less dependence on finite resources
We’ll explain each of these benefits in more detail below.
Want a FREE estimate on the cost to install residential solar panels? Contact Photon Brothers at 720-370-3344. Our solar engineers will recommend the best solar panel design for your needs and budget.
Reduced Water Usage
When most people think of the environmental impact of solar energy, water conservation isn’t usually top of mind. But reduced water waste is one of the most significant environmental benefits of switching to solar power.
Conventional energy sources such as nuclear, natural gas, and coal-fired power stations require extensive cooling, which calls for lots of water. Power plants use additional water to process, refine, and transport fuel. All of this water adds up: Researchers estimate that the U.S. energy system requires 58 trillion gallons of water withdrawals each year. That’s enough water to fill 88 million Olympic-size swimming pools!
Solar panels, on the other hand, do not require water to generate power. Manufacturers use water to create the photovoltaic cells on the solar panels, but the amount is far less than the water consumed by conventional energy sources. For water conservation, solar panels are the clear winner.
Lower Carbon emissions
Carbon emissions refer to harmful greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide) that trap heat in the atmosphere. Some greenhouse gases occur naturally, but human activities release these gases into the atmosphere in greater quantities. These human-produced emissions are directly linked to global climate change and severely damage the environment.
One of the most significant contributors to carbon emissions is burning fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil. Conventional power plants burn these fuels to generate electricity, which leads to greater emissions and accelerated global warming.
Solar panels do not emit greenhouse gases directly, but some are produced during the solar panel manufacturing process. However, once the panels are installed, they have zero carbon emissions and do not negatively impact the environment in any way. For this reason, experts claim that switching to solar energy can help to slow or stop global warming.
Improved Public Health
Besides helping the environment, solar energy can also improve public health. As we mentioned above, burning fossil fuels releases harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. In addition to environmental damage, these pollutants can also lead to negative health consequences.
According to the World Health Organization, climate change is responsible for at least 150,000 deaths per year. The adverse health side effects of climate change include:
- Infectious disease outbreaks, especially in tropical regions
- Extended periods of high temperatures (heatwaves), which leads to heatstroke
- Decreased agricultural productivity
- Higher rates of asthma and other respiratory diseases
After the manufacturing process, solar panels do not produce harmful greenhouse gases, making them a healthier alternative to traditional power sources. In the U.S. alone, the Department of Energy estimates that solar energy could save more than 25,000 lives per year and prevent unnecessary health care costs.
Less Dependence on Finite Resources
Fossil fuels are finite resources—meaning we will eventually exhaust them. Solar energy, on the other hand, is infinitely renewable. As long as there is sunshine, we can harness solar power. By switching to renewable energy sources like solar, we can improve the health of our planet and provide sustainable energy options for our species.
Interested in Solar Panels for Your Home or Business? Call Photon Brothers Today.
Contact us at 720-370-3344 or schedule an appointment online. Our solar engineers will recommend the best solar panels for your home and budget and provide upfront pricing on the cost to install them.
Learn more about what to expect when you work with us by visiting our solar panel installation page.