When it comes to switching to solar energy for your home or business, many people think of the financial advantages. Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels can lower your energy bills, add value to your home, and lock down your monthly energy costs for decades to come, protecting you against rising utility costs.
But just as important to the money that you save when you upgrade your Tucson or Phoenix home or business with residential or commercial solar services are the environmental benefits. Here are some of the ways that going “green” with solar energy can benefit the world around you as well.
Solar Power Reduces Air Pollution
Burning fossil fuels release harmful pollutants into the air, including sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2). Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide contribute to acid rain and smog, while the increased carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere are one of the most significant contributions to rising global temperatures and climate change. In fact, in 2017, 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States came from fossil fuel combustion during the production of electricity.
Solar panels, on the other hand, produce no greenhouse gases. So every kilowatt hour (kWh) you produce via your solar panels is a kWh that wasn't produced through the burning coal or other fossil fuels and isn’t contributing to air pollution.
Solar Power Reduces Water Pollution
According to the NRDC, 72% of toxic water pollution in the US is created by coal-fired power plants, and thermoelectric power plants contribute 50–60% of all toxic chemicals and pollutants released into surface waters. And even though the frequency of crude oil spills has decreased significantly in recent decades, there have still been 163,000 metric tons of oil spilled since 2010.
Solar energy panels produce electricity without water consumption or fossil fuel combustion.
Solar Power Reduces Water Usage
To provide electricity for an average home, Scientific American reports that a power plant requires anywhere from 114 to a whopping 615 gallons of water a day, depending on the fossil fuel source (nuclear, coal-fired, or natural gas). Additionally, statistics show that US power plants withdraw roughly 50 trillion gallons and consume approximately 1.6 trillion gallons of water annually. Those are huge numbers and illustrate just how much strain power plants can put on the world’s water supply.
Without the need for water, solar energy generation has a far more positive environmental impact than other energy sources.
Solar Power Reduces Dependence on Fossil Fuels
It’s hard to calculate exactly how much fossil fuels are left and how long our reserves could last us. But we do know that fossil fuels are a very finite resource and that we are consuming fossil fuels far faster than they are being created.
On the other hand, the sun is producing energy on a scale so large that it can be difficult to comprehend. The sun sends more energy to Earth in an hour than the world consumes in an entire year!
Solar Power Helps Fight Climate Change
In the battle against climate change, renewable energies like solar power may be one of our best tools. As explained above, harnessing solar energy and turning it into electricity doesn’t produce harmful greenhouse gases, and doesn’t rely on significant water usage or the utilization of increasingly limited fossil fuel resources.
As the world searches for solutions to rising global climates, increasing our use of renewable energy sources like solar power will help offset the acceleration of climate change and take advantage of a clean energy source we have a practically infinite supply of.
Take Advantage of Solar Incentives & Financing with ESP
Solar energy’s many environmental benefits make it a great option for homeowners and businesses throughout Arizona, and the financial advantages to upgrading make it even more attractive. At Energy Solution Providers, we work with you to qualify your solar installation project for tax credits and incentives to help offset the cost of upgrading. If you’re thinking of making a switch, now is the time to act: Some incentives, like the Federal Solar Tax Credit, are only fully redeemable through the end of 2019!
It’s not just a smart financial decision; upgrading to solar energy benefits the environment as well. Call 520-868-0700 or contact us for your free solar quote.