What are the benefits of solar energy?
Despite the recent remarkable advancements in solar energy technology, homeowners have been reluctant to adopt this alternative energy source. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of the environmental and health benefits that solar energy provides. Without this understanding, it’s difficult to determine which energy source is right for your family.
If you’ve ever considered solar energy for your home, it’s important to gather all the necessary facts to help you make an informed decision about your home energy selection. Here is a closer look at what solar energy is and the many benefits it provides.
What Is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is an alternative energy option that absorbs energy from the sun’s rays and converts it into usable household energy to provide electricity for the home, which can be used to power appliances, lights, electronics, heating and hot water. When implemented correctly, the use of solar energy can greatly reduce your home’s dependency on other energy options such as coal, gas and oil.
The most common type of solar energy is photovoltaic solar energy systems. These systems are easily identified by their solar panels, which are typically installed on the roof of a house or in a field near the home. These panels attract and absorb the sun’s rays, which are then converted into usable energy to generate electricity.
One of the best things about solar energy is that the sun provides a virtually limitless supply. In fact, just 1 percent of the sun’s energy could provide enough electricity for everyone in the world if collected and converted properly. Today’s homeowners are turning to solar energy in increasing numbers as a means of combating high-energy costs and to reap numerous environmental and health benefits.
Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy
The majority of scientists now agree that the long-term effects of burning fossil fuels, such as gas, coal and oil, is wreaking havoc on the environment. Burning these types of fuels emits massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the air. As the layer of greenhouse gases thickens, the heat is trapped inside the earth’s atmosphere, ultimately causing the temperatures around the world to rise.
Some effects of the earth’s heating, including melting ice caps, rising sea levels and intensified storm systems, are already noticeable. Unfortunately, estimates show that the major electricity sources are responsible for nearly one-third of all the emissions in the United States that affect global warming. Without continuous changes to the world’s energy sources, the scientific outlook for the earth is grim. It’s for this very reason that many homeowners and businesses are looking to solar energy as a viable way to reduce the demand for fossil fuels and to ultimately reduce their carbon footprint.
Solar energy emits zero carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere. It’s also free from other dangerous particles like sulfur and nitrogen, found in other standard energy sources. In addition, solar energy doesn’t require the use of water, which is a stark contrast to other energy sources.
For example, just one fracking well uses anywhere from 3–6 gallons of water. This not only wastes one of the world’s most valuable resources, but also it creates a massive amount of wastewater that can easily lead to contamination. Choosing solar energy allows you to play a vital role in reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions and create a healthier environment.
Health Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy not only helps to protect the environment around you, but it also provides a variety of health benefits. Common energy sources, such as oil, coal and gas, emit chemicals like sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide into the air. Studies show that these dangerous pollutants can cause several severe respiratory problems, including asthma, bronchitis, pulmonary inflammation and chronic respiratory disease, as well as cardio health issues, such as heart attack and stroke.
Water contamination due to standard energy waste causes additional health risks. For example, coal produces the largest amount of mercury emissions into the air. These mercury particles eventually make their way into the groundwater and then into nearby streams, lakes and oceans, affecting the fish in the water. Not only does this affect drinking water, but when humans consume mercury-contaminated fish, it can cause irreversible neurological damage, especially in pregnant women and young children. This is so damaging that the EPA recommends women and young children limit their consumption of certain types of fish.
Installing solar panels on your home will help to reduce your reliance on standard energy sources that pollute both the air and water. This will create a healthier environment for you and your neighbors. Most importantly, as more and more homeowners make the choice to switch to cleaner solar energy, it can help reduce the risk of chronic respiratory and cardiac diseases, as well as neurological damage.
Are you ready to make a difference in the world and in the lives of those around you? You can add solar panels to your home today and start reaping the health and environmental benefits tomorrow. Contact us to learn more about solar panels and to find out how you can benefit from this clean alternative energy source.