EFFECTS OF SOLAR ENERGY ON THE ENVIRONMENT

Extensive consumption of fossil fuels in almost all human activities has led to some undesirable phenomena such as atmospheric and environmental pollutions, which have not yet been experienced before in the human history. Burning of fossil fuels emits greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) which hinder the radiation escape into the space, and consequently earth’s climate becomes warmer. One way to tackle this is to switching to renewable source of energy, and among them Solar Energy comes top of the list due to its more even distribution in nature compared to other sources of energy. 

There is no doubt that solar energy has a lot of positive impacts economically. A study conducted by University of California found out that if the whole world switches to solar energy, it could save seventy-five percent of the costs to the society, but the environmental effects of solar are just as compelling. Firstly, going solar reduces the greenhouse gas emissions such as CO2. It’s been found out that over twenty years producing just 80% of the average home’s annual requirements, a solar energy system will offset the equivalent CO2 emissions from over 150,000 pounds of coal burned, or greenhouse emission from 45 tons of landfill waste. Another benefit of using Solar Power is that is helps in reducing water pollution. Older energy producing methods such as nuclear, natural gas, and coal, all requires large quantity of water for cooling purposes. Whereas, the amount of water needed to produce Solar Energy is dramatically less, and this could be a step towards saving resources for the future generations. Thirdly, global population is continuing to grow, but our earth has a finite amount of oil, coal, and natural gas to give up. At some point, they will be gone, and the cost of finding and extracting them would be too high for our strained population, resulting in a great damage to the environment. Whereas, on the other hand, sun produces staggering 173000 terawatts pf solar energy per second. That is almost 1000 times the world’s combined energy use, and is available all the time unlike our limited natural resources. Lastly, one of the most beneficial impact of solar energy on the environment is that it reduces the air pollutants. An analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that widespread solar adoption would significantly reduce nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter emissions, all of which can cause health problems. Hence, it reduces the chances of having chronic bronchitis, respiratory, and cardiovascular problems.

We’ve gone through the environmental effects Solar Energy has on the environment. Going Solar is like saving the planet and keeping it from change. Already we’re observing dramatic changes in the climate, and if we do not act today, it might be too late. Let’s think about our future daughters and sons, and transform to solar energy. We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.