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May 20, 2020

There are many advantages of upgrading your home to solar power, but for many Arizona homeowners, “going green” is an important reason for residential solar installation.

So how “green” are the solar panels on your home, compared to the electricity you’re currently using from the utility company? Let’s examine all aspects of solar energy, from what goes into manufacturing solar panels, to once the panels are installed on your roof or ground-mounted solar system and are creating electricity for your house.

Is Solar Power Really Completely Fossil Fuel Free?

The good news is that once a solar panel system has been added to your home and you’re drawing on the intense Arizona sun for your energy needs, you are powering your home using a completely fossil fuel-free process.

Solar energy is a completely renewable energy source, and whether you are using a grid-tied system or have a solar battery backup system that allows you to be completely off grid, any solar energy you create and use in your home is significantly lowering your carbon footprint.

For example, if your solar PV system generates 10,000 kWh of electricity a year, you would offset 7.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide, that’s equivalent to:

  • 796 gallons of gas or 

  • 16.4 barrels of oil and

  • 17,544 miles driven and 

  • Carbon sequestered by 9.2 acres of US forest in one year! 

What About Solar Panel Manufacturing?

Unfortunately, manufacturing your solar panels requires melting silica rock at extremely high temperatures to produce silicon using coal-fired electricity plants, which does have an environmental impact.

However, there is an upside—as solar panel manufacturing has progressed, studies have shown that the environmental impact has shrunk: “For every doubling of installed photovoltaic capacity, energy use decreases by 12% and greenhouse gas footprints by 17 to 24%.” The more efficient solar panels become, the less impact their manufacturing has on overall greenhouse gas contributions.

A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory concluded that the manufacturing energy cost vs. solar energy production payback is typically less than 4 years! Considering that a solar panel system will last for 25 - 30 years, there will be a net positive impact of generating clean energy for decades! 

There’s also another benefit to solar power besides the offset of clean energy compared to fossil fuels - water savings, which is particularly important here in Arizona. Fossil fuels have a high impact on water both from direct use for cooling as well as water pollution.  Solar power ends up saving vasts amounts of freshwater compared to the water needed for energy production from fossil fuel plants.

Go Green and Save Money with Energy Solution Providers

In end, rest assured: the carbon emissions your solar panels save will quickly offset what was used to manufacture them, and you’ll be left with decades of completely clean, renewable energy for your home.

Plus, solar panels will reduce or even completely eliminate your monthly electricity costs, and with solar rebates and solar financing available to Energy Solution Providers customers, your upfront costs are further reduced. One of the greatest incentives is the federal solar tax credit, which currently allows you to claim a tax credit of 26% of your total solar installation costs from as much as two consecutive years of federal taxes due.

Learn more about why solar is the best energy solution for your Arizona home. Call 520-868-0700 or contact us today to make the switch to green energy.