The Eco Benefits of Solar Energy: Why Solar Power is Good for the Environment?
It's easy to overlook just how far humanity has come in our short, collective history. In just a few seconds and with the push of a button, you can be talking in real-time with someone on the opposite side of the globe. Or, if you'd prefer to speak with them in person, you could easily hop on a flight that rockets you through the sky to their location. From phones to planes, humanity's greatest technological achievements directly stem from our ability to generate electricity through the use of fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil. While this has been beneficial for our species, the same can't be said for the world as a whole.
The burning of fossil fuels to generate energy has been linked to several harmful environmental side effects, such as acid rain, rising sea levels, air pollution, oil spills, and more. Prolonged use of these fossil fuels only increases the chance of irreparably damaging the planet and humanity's ability to survive on it.
Over the past several decades, there have been tremendous advances in clean energy technology. The ability to completely power our homes and vehicles in ways that don't negatively affect our surroundings isn't just a dream anymore, it's an achievable reality. Unlike many other forms of energy available, electricity generated through solar power is clean, renewable, and produces zero harmful emissions. Backing away from our reliance on fossil fuels and turning, instead, to solar power is one of the most efficient ways we can protect the environment.
Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Fossil fuels have been shown to release harmful levels of greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide, when they're burned for energy production. Studies have found that an increase of greenhouse gasses in the planet's atmosphere can lead to global warming and climate change. These issues can cause increased global temperatures, rising sea levels, and an increased frequency and intensity of weather events such as hurricanes, blizzards, and forest fires.
Solar power energy production, on the other hand, does not generate greenhouse gasses as a byproduct. By switching to solar, homes and businesses can drastically reduce the size of their carbon footprint and help prevent future climate change from occurring.
Improved Air Quality
Similar to greenhouse gasses, the burning of fossil fuels also creates a large number of air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides. These pollutants commonly present as smog and have a direct and negative effect on the air we breathe. Constant inhalation of these pollutants can be extremely detrimental to one's health. In comparison, solar power produces very little air pollution. Studies have shown that a large-scale switch to solar power could lead to a drastic reduction in air pollution and, as a result, fewer instances of cardiovascular and respiratory problems.
Limited Water Use
Apart from fossil fuels, other forms of energy production can be harmful to the environment as well. Nuclear and hydropower plants may not produce as many air pollutants, but they do require large amounts of water to operate. To accomplish this, dams will often have to be constructed so that water flow can be properly managed. Unfortunately, doing so can have detrimental side effects on local wildlife and the ecosystem as a whole. Solar power doesn't require any water usage and a major switch to it could help drastically reduce the use of water throughout the entire world. This could lead to healthier ecosystems and a solution to water scarcity in various regions around the globe.