The global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was unprecedented, with countries around the world altering their daily lives in order to contain the spread of the virus. In the process, they limited their energy usage, which in turn reduced their carbon footprint.
Although the world has mostly moved on from the pandemic, the environmental impact is still being felt, as countries continue to try and reduce their carbon footprint. In fact, as of early May 2021, more than 100 countries have already committed to net zero emissions by 2050. This places a huge emphasis on sustainable energy sources – in particular, solar power.
The environmental impact of solar power is mostly related to the manufacturing process of solar panels rather than the energy generated by the panels themselves. When solar panels are installed around the world, it can effectively be considered a form of green infrastructure, as it helps to reduce flooding by diverting water runoff away from buildings and roads. It also creates living space above buildings, which provides cities with additional living space. Finally, solar power can effectively reduce carbon emissions by generating electricity without the need for coal-fired power stations. This is because solar panels don’t emit carbon while generating energy.
Despite all of this, many people are unaware of how much environmental impact solar power really has, which is why we’ve compiled this list of reasons why everyone should be considering going solar.
1. It Has An Immediate Positive Impact
It can take days, weeks, or even months for significant climate change to occur as a result of CO2 emissions, but the impact of solar power is immediate. When a solar panel is installed, it can generate electricity right away, which means citizens can start benefiting from renewable energy sources without delay.
This is in contrast to fossil fuels, such as coal and gas, which take considerable time to produce and can’t be counted on to provide energy when you need it. In addition, solar panels installed on a roof can provide electricity to an entire building, which helps to reduce power outages and boost productivity.
2. It Has A Longer-Term Positive Impact
While the short-term effect of solar power is quite significant, its long-term effects are even more promising. When a solar panel is installed on an unshaded roof, it can generate electricity for more than 10 years before it has to be replaced due to extreme weather conditions or wear and tear. In comparison, most fossil fuels suffer from a shorter life span, with the majority of them needing to be replaced every five years on average.
This means that as countries move towards a net zero emissions future, they will have the option of gradually transitioning away from fossil fuels, which are harmful to the environment, towards solar power. The more countries that implement this form of energy, the more likely it is that we will see an ecological and climate-friendly society.
3. It Provides A Great Opportunity To Be Energy Self-sufficient
For those living in more than one country, the option of being energy self-sufficient is quite appealing, as it means you don’t have to rely on outside sources for energy, which can be particularly difficult during times of conflict or turmoil. In times of need, it also provides a great opportunity to store energy for later use.
In addition, being energy self-sufficient is not only beneficial during times of energy scarcity, but it can also be used as a form of power management, with some experts suggesting it can improve the overall productivity of businesses and households. In fact, many industrial and commercial buildings now use energy storage systems, with a quarter of American homes also owning a battery system.
4. It Helps To Combat Climate Change
The fourth reason to go solar is quite straightforward: it helps to combat climate change. When fossil fuels are used to generate electricity, it quickly leads to a rise in CO2 emissions, with some estimates putting the rise at more than 40% in the last 10 years. However, this does not apply to solar power. When a solar panel is installed on a roof, it simply generates electricity, which is effectively neutral when it comes to CO2 emissions.
This means that going solar benefits not only the planet, but it also helps to combat climate change. While climate change is undoubtedly a serious problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, going solar provides an excellent short-term solution to the problem. In the process, it helps to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and encourages countries to move towards sustainable energy sources – particularly, solar power.
5. It Provides A Great Opportunity To Be Self-sufficient
For those who live in solar-powered countries, being self-sufficient is an everyday option. In fact, many solar panels now operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, which means you only pay for what you use. This is a great option for people who want to reduce their carbon footprint and become less reliant on fossil fuels. It also makes solar power ideal for remote areas and developing nations, where being dependent on outside sources for energy is risky.
In addition, being self-sufficient is highly beneficial for people who want to improve their energy productivity, as it provides them with more time to focus on other areas of life. For example, you could run your home entirely on solar power for several days before you run out of energy, which provides you with time to prepare food or take a nap. In the process, you not only cut down on your carbon footprint and improve your energy security, but you also increase your productivity.
6. It Can Be Harmless To Humans And Animals
The last reason people should consider installing solar power is that it can be quite harmless to humans and animals. When a solar panel is installed on a roof, it can effectively shield animals and humans from the harmful ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer and cataracts. In addition, the heat generated by solar power can be beneficial in the summer, meaning the sun’s rays can be used to create hot water and air-conditioning for homes and businesses.
While some people might get sick from the sun’s harmful rays, the risk is generally considered to be quite low, especially when compared to the risks posed by fossil fuels. This is mainly because the human body naturally protects us from the sun’s UV rays and heat, with many people going blind or developing cancer due to over-exposed radiation.
In the case of catastrophic climate change and pandemics caused by fossil fuels, going solar will undoubtedly provide benefits for the people and planet of tomorrow. However, in the short term, it will simply help to reduce carbon emissions as countries and communities try to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels and move towards sustainable energy sources.