July 26

Top 5 environmental benefits of solar energy


environmental benefits of solar energyOn the road to become sustainable, you will reach a point where you will have a choice to switch to renewable energy sources. Today, solar energy is one of the most popular alternative energy sources, especially in areas where there is tons of sunshine such as the USA.

Apart from lowering your utility bills, solar energy also has several environmental benefits. Here are the top 5 environmental benefits of solar energy.


Fewer fossil fuels burnt

Pretty much at the heart of almost all of the world’s pollution lie fossil fuels. Fossil fuels have been around for generations, but the scale of devastation caused by them has only surfaced a few decades ago.

Most of our world’s energy is made using fossil fuels, especially in developing countries. Apart from being used to produce electricity, fossil fuels are also used as raw material for manufacturing products such as plastic (which itself is a huge pollutant at sea, land, and even air). Upon burning and even extraction, fossil fuels emit a ton of toxic gases and dangerous byproducts, which then pollute the environment in a number of ways.

Switching to solar energy would mean lesser demand for fossil fuels as an energy source. Lower demand would mean less burning and extraction, thereby helping the environment to recover faster from the damage we’ve all brought to it.

Reduction in demand for fossil fuels is without a doubt one of the biggest environmental benefits of solar energy.


Improves air quality

Another great benefit of solar energy is that it helps reduce the air pollution around us. But how could the solar panels in your home help improve air quality?

As previously mentioned, fossil fuels generate a huge amount of toxic waste on burning, most of which is released into the atmosphere in the form of dangerous gases. Reducing the number of fossil fuels burnt means fewer gases being released into the atmosphere. Fewer gases released means that the air is now relatively cleaner than before.

It may not seem much when you talk about a single household switching to solar energy, but when you look at the bigger picture, you realize the huge impact this may have on the air around us. As more people in your neighborhood, city, and country switch to solar, the air quality would improve exponentially, making this one of the most effective environmental benefits of using solar energy.


Lowers the rate of climate change

When fossil fuels are burnt to produce electricity, three of the most concentrated gases that are released include methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxides. These are known as greenhouse gases, and when released in huge amounts, contribute to warming up the planet.

Greenhouse gases when released into the atmosphere cause what is known as the greenhouse effect; the gases absorb the heat emitted by the sun and use it to warm the surface of the Earth. An increase in the surface temperature of the planet over the past decades has led to major climate change, causing flooding, melting of ice caps, and even drought in many areas.

Using solar energy would help reduce the release of greenhouse gases, thereby reducing the rate of climate change. Due to the damage, we’ve caused to our planet, climate change is inevitable, but the least we can do is to lower the rate of change in hope that it may soon recover from this disastrous state.


Helps lower health issues

Air quality is essential to the well-being of people, and the increase in fossil fuels over the past generations has led to a huge increase in the number of respiratory issues. The toxic gases released into the atmosphere travel with the air we breathe in, and as they enter our lungs they cause a plethora of breathing issues including some of the most fatal diseases, and the recent pandemic is a testament to the devastation that is possible with polluted air.

Using solar energy reduces the number of fossil fuels being burnt and extracted, thereby drastically reducing the number of toxic gases dispersed in the air. This is not only beneficial for the health of humans but also the wildlife both on land and sea since marine life is also highly dependent on the absorption of oxygen from the surrounding air.


Reduces deforestation

You might be wondering how using solar energy would help reduce deforestation on the planet; fossil fuel-based electricity does not use wood, so how would solar energy help reduce wood being chopped down?

Imagine a new neighborhood is being built several kilometers away from your home. Between you and the new colony, there are several acres of trees and no power supply. In order to provide power to that neighborhood, you have two options; either to chop down the trees and build a new power grid or to chop down the trees and connect your current power grid with the new neighborhood via high voltage cables. In each case, the trees are those who ultimately suffer.

Using solar energy would mean that not only are you now independent from the grid but also the trees that would otherwise have been cut to make way for towers or power grids no longer need to be chopped down. Trees are an extremely important part of any ecosystem, providing food, cleaning up the air around us, and even providing shelter to wildlife. Saving trees and reducing deforestation is therefore one of the biggest environmental benefits of solar energy.



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