Is Your Home Polluting the Planet? The Environmental Benefits of Solar Power
It’s no surprise more American homeowners are choosing to go solar than ever before. Most people know solar energy is supposed to be better for the environment than fossil fuels, but don’t know the actual reasons why! Solar energy can provide an infinite source of non-polluting electricity because the daily sunrise is something we can rely on.
Solar energy can greatly reduce your dependence on fossil fuels, lessening the effects of climate change for future generations. However, there’s an even bigger story the environmental benefits of solar are more than just reducing yourcarbon footprint!
Pollution and Human Health
No-one wants to breathe in dirty air with toxic chemicals. The pollutants released from generating energy with coal and fossil fuel are harmful to human health and the planet.
Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, impacting overall human health. Greenhouse gases are linked to respiratory problems, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease and stroke, developmental effects and mental health issues. And according to the U.S. Department of Energy, reducing unnecessary pollutants from years 2015-2050 could save more than 25,000 lives and prevent $167 billion in health and environmental damages. And the U.S. Energy Information Administration says solar energy systems/power plants do not product air pollution, water pollution, or greenhouse gases.
So, we can breathe easier with solar power.
The traditional production of electricity requires A LOT of water in the process. Most of the largest electric power plants in the United States have steam turbines that use pressurized hot water to produce steam which spins the turbine, generating electricity. After the steam travels through the turbine, MORE water is used to cool and condense the water to start the repeating cycle.
Water is used for coal mining and natural gas production too. But guess how much water solar panels need to operate? Yep – not a drop. More water means benefits for all of us, from irrigation for farming to swimming pools, drinking water and lawn sprinklers!
Farms & Agriculture
Agriculture is also projected to be affected by climate change. Everything from changes in rainfall, to high temperatures, drought, and changes in seasonal patterns. It all adds up to smaller harvests and more stress on livestock.
So how can solar help?
First, solar power decreases our carbon footprint immediately upon installation. By using a renewable resource that does not require combustion or water use to produce energy, we can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and lower the emission of greenhouse gases. Good things are happening in the solar energy industry! Through Q2 2020, the U.S. has enough solar installed to power more than 16.1 million average American homes – offsetting more than 96 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
The Midwest has plenty of opportunity to welcome in solar. For example, Ohio ranks third in coal consumption in the U.S., and nearly 90% of the coal used is for electric power production. A study from Harvard recommends more solar power be installed to achieve the biggest improvements in public health. The good news is that every solar array installed immediately reduces carbon dioxide emissions, helping us meet the recommendations of the United Nations panel on climate change to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030.
Interested in learning more? Icon Solar is here to help you make the right choice for your home. Text ICON to 888111 to see how solar power can lower your utility bills, create energy independence, and support our environment.