Many people know that solar power is “green energy”, but what does that necessarily mean? Not everyone knows the specific benefits that solar power offers to the environment and even public health.
The impact of green energy like solar power is more substantial than many people realize.
From its impact on greenhouse gas emissions to how solar affects
ground and water supplies solar is bettering the world around us.
Solar power can even benefit your health and even the health of your community.
Here’s a quick guide on how solar is helping you and your community, along with the environment. Solar isn’t just about saving money, but the environment too!
Carbon Dioxide Emissions
A major impact on climate change is atmospheric carbon dioxide.
But what happens when carbon dioxide is absorbed by the
atmosphere? Carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for decades while radiating heat toward the earth, continuously heating the planet.
Aside from climate change as a whole, the constant heating
of the planet can negatively affect the health of the public. Climate
change makes infectious diseases easier to spread, along with
increasing droughts and famines. Natural disasters can even worsen from climate change.
Solar power can prevent air pollution since they don’t rely on fuels
that release carbon dioxide.
When we think of global warming and climate change carbon
dioxide is usually what we associate with it. Not too many people
realize that methane and its relationship to climate change.
As we mentioned earlier carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere
for years. But what many people don’t know is that methane lasts
longer than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Not only does it last
longer, but it traps more heat and radiation than carbon dioxide.
The impact of methane is 25 times greater than carbon dioxide,
pound for pound.
Just like carbon dioxide, solar power doesn’t burn any natural gas or
petroleum. So the more solar we use, the less methane we release.
You wouldn’t think that the ground could be damaged by nonrenewable resources, but it’s actually a serious problem. Nonrenewable resources can spill oil into the soil, which can harm the environment in many ways. Plants and animals are harmed, and even their habitats become damaged.
Nuclear power doesn’t contribute to carbon dioxide levels, but it can pollute the ground with radioactive materials. This pollution can render areas inhabitable and even cause radiation poisoning in people.
Thankfully solar power can prevent this harm to our environment. Even rain that washes off panels into the ground does not draw their materials into the earth.
We’ve already discussed carbon dioxide and methane being released, but what about other substances? Air pollution is a serious health issue, in fact, 4.2 million people die prematurely because of it according to the World Health Organization.
A major cause of air pollution is the burning of oil, which can negatively affect the health of the public. Burning oil contains harmful chemicals that have carcinogenic effects.
Coal can also be detrimental to public health, as it can damage your lungs when inhaled. Air pollutants can also have negative and dangerous effects on your eyes, and can lead to long-term vision damage. But solar panels don’t pollute the air at all, even in extreme scenarios like fires.
Transmission And Storage
When planning the placement of a power plant urban planners will try to put them near residential areas. Even having them nearby they can still be far from houses.
This leads to planners stringing up long transmission lines to transport electricity. The issue with this is that some electricity is lost during the transmission process. This loss of electricity means power plants must burn more fuel to compensate for the loss.
Not only do panels not require long transmission lines, but they only generate as much power as you need. Anything you generate that is excess can be stored in a solar battery. You can even tap into this battery at night or during a power outage.
The use of hydropower is another renewable energy source aside from solar power. But how could something renewable be harmful?
Hydropower doesn’t release carbon emissions, or even pollute the air we breathe, so what’s so bad? Hydropower depends on rivers and other natural bodies of water.
Aside from harm to bodies of water hydropower can also limit water
access to people.
Solar panels don’t affect water usage in any sort of way. You may not even need to wash your panels since rainwater can clean away built-up dirt and debris.