The Earth is a beautiful place and is definitely a one-of-a-kind comfort zone in the cold and unforgiving void of space. As of now, no other planet comes close to how habitable the Earth is despite numerous space explorations and expeditions done in the past seven decades of modern history. Basically, what we have now is the only thing we will be having in the near future.
At the moment, humanity may be in a delicate situation, if something bad happens to Earth that dramatically alters its habitability, then we really have no other place to go to as a species. Let that thought sink in for a moment and let us compare it to a fitting analogy, which is your home in the suburbs, no other home is like it and moving to another one is too expensive, so you certainly would not trash your comfortable abode now would you?
The fact of the matter is, something dramatic may already be happening to Earth, for some, this is the global warming caused partly by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which has a profound effect on the world’s climate. All this has been caused by just a few centuries of industrial progress in mankind, such as the discovery of fossil fuels that can be burned to generate energy, but in turn, produces carbon emissions.
Thankfully, a solution is already at hand, or at least some means to slow down this slowburn negative progress of Earth. Solar energy may be something that can ease the burden of CO2 emissions on the environment. Here at SunPower, we believe that solar energy is not just another way for humanity to acquire energy but also a way for the environment to recover from the damage that industrialization might have caused.
Here is how solar energy can actually save the environment:
Solar panels emit no air pollutants
Unlike traditional means to generate electricity such as burning oil, coal, or natural gases, solar panels do not need anything to burn, meaning no smoke is produced. Instead, solar panels rely on the heat and light coming from the sun, which it then harnesses and converts into usable electricity, with the help of assisting apparatuses.
This alone is actually a huge help to the environment, a few companies or homes using solar panels of course, would mean nothing is the majority still use traditional means to produce electricity. However, if the vast majority of the population were to rely at least partly on solar panels for electricity, the difference would be equally vast and impactful. It certainly would cut some of the urban environments’ CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming by trapping the heat from the sun.
Of course, there would still be other sources of CO2 emissions, such as cars, and factories, but at least now, solar energy and people who rely on it can start addressing this problem one step at a time. Experiments are also being conducted on solar-powered cars, and while the technology is still at its infancy stage, progress is being made steadily. In the future, solar energy may very well be the replacement for harmful fossil fuels that are used for electricity.
It also reduces water pollution
You would think that air is the only problem that comes with coal or gas power plants, but in reality, water pollution is actually quite rampant when when humans use fossil fuel as power sources. In fact, 72 percent of water pollution actually comes from coal-fired power plants alone because power plants than burn resources to generate electricity need a coolant system, massive amounts of water specifically.
This water, after being used for cooling, then becomes waste material that then contributes to water pollution. Meanwhile, solar panels, since they do not need to burn anything to generate electricity, need no such expensive cooling systems. This means they do not pollute any amount of water at all in the environment and rarely overheat despite being exposed to the sun for 12 hours everyday.
Waste not, want not
Since solar panels also do not use fossil fuels other other fuels to generate power, it actually does not produce any waste material at all. In fact, the only excess thing it can produce is electricity, and even that gets used for good and is not a waste byproduct. Other power sources such as traditional power plants, or even nuclear power plants produce harmful waste materials that damage and contaminate the environment they are disposed in.
Of course, this is despite strict proper disposal practices from other countries. Waste byproducts from power plants are simply hard to take care of probably take as much effort to contain as the effort to produce electricity using fossil fuels. Solar energy does not have any of this excessive tradeoff and virtually comes at no cost to the environment, other than space of course for the panels and the materials for building them.
Solar energy is generally environment friendly
It really is hard to think of what makes solar energy harmful to the environment, in contrast, there are several ready reasons why it is good for the environment. One thing that may actually cause solar panels to be harmful is mere the chemicals used in the process of making them or their accessories. However, these depend on the brand and manufacturer and might even be negligible compared to the bigger dangers.
Solar panels, when used popularly and standardized could easily lift the demand for fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gases meaning they might no longer be needed for major electricity production. What this means for the Earth’s ecosystems is that some of them may no longer have to be mined for those precious fossil fuels, effectively preserving the wildlife in the area as well as other inhabitants of the place.
Also, solar energy could contribute to minimizing CO2 emissions which is not only good for the environment, but also for human beings as well since smoke waste material is usually not good for the lungs. All in all, solar energy is one of those natural gifts that we simply need to make use of and actually has a lot more benefits than the initial impression.
It could make us less dependent on nonrenewable resources
As you know by now, oil, coal, and natural gases, among with other precious nonrenewable resources in the world are dwindling at a fast rate. The population of human cities keep growing, consequently raising the needs of its citizens such as food, water, shelter, and of course energy, the latter two being dependent on fossil fuels to a certain degree.
Fossil fuels that we currently use as mainstream sources of electricity take hundreds of millions of years to form, making them quite expensive, and in turn, making the cost of electricity expensive too. We are still currently dependent on these, and the effects when they become low in supply can be quite critical. They are, after all, finite resources and we have no means of replenishing them artificially.
Hence why solar energy can be something that might remove our sole dependence on fossil fuels and nonrenewable resources, at least when it comes to electricity for now. Having energy that is not finite is actually one of the best manifestations of peace of mind that humanity can have, even the sun is readily giving out that much energy for free, we only need to see its potential and grab it while we still have time and luxuries.
It is becoming more affordable than other power sources
Five or ten years ago this might not have been the case, but right now, the technology and equipment for solar energy is definitely a lot more affordable and available for a lot of populations. They have certainly beaten diesel and kerosene-based energy generation systems right now and have seen the steepest drop in cost in the renewable energy category.
What this means for the environment is a healthier and less stressful human being ecosystem. We’re talking about families living in cities or suburbs relying on solar energy and not having to worry about expensive electric utility bills or not worrying about power outages in the event of one since they have their own means to produce electricity. After all, the most important environment for us is the one we humans worked so hard to build and maintain.
The sun is very generous
The sun, our very own star in the solar system, is actually full of surprises, even now. Not only does it control our everyday lives with its sunlight, making day time possible, it also provides us with all the energy we will ever need. So, why you ask, are we still confined to digging for fossil fuels in Earth in order to obtain fuel for electricity? Well, human capacity to harness the sun’s energy is not yet that advanced right now and we cannot fully take advantage of the sun’s tremendous output just yet.
Still, the sun produces about 173,000 terawatts of solar energy every second, which is actually more than 10,000 times the world’s total combined energy use. Rest assured, every progress made in the name of advancements for solar energy is a big contribution to mankind and the health of Earth’s environment.
The future is certainly looking bright because of the sun, both literally and figuratively, as long as humans look for new ways to improve their lives and that of the Earth, the rewards are definitely more than plenty. Just imagine what we could do with that much energy, all that is left for us is to make ways to harvest the readily available energy source and we can ditch Earth’s expensive and damaging nonrenewable resources.
Solar panels can be more reliable than power plants
There are no power plants in space, they simply cannot work there like they do in Earth because of dozens of factors. Even if humanity somehow manages to find a way, it would simply be a lot absurdly expensive. So how do those unmanned space stations and satellites in space stay operational? Solar panels of course.
This is actually one of the first and most successful applications of solar panel technology. The thing is, if solar panels can work in space, which is one of the harshest environments known to mankind, then they can work in lots of other environments. They are actually built to do so, meaning anywhere there is a visible sun, solar panels will work and generate electricity.
There are some myths about them not working during cloudy weather or in cold climates, but none of those are true. Solar panels actually still work as long as there is daylight, though their efficiency is lessened when clouds do obstruct the sunlight, though this is not really a cause for concern and the panels will still deliver. Temperature also do not affect them too much, and in fact, a lower temperature is more preferable for typical solar panels since they are machines that can overheat.
Solar energy is certainly one of the things that can fuel or provide better opportunities for satellite establishments in remote areas with no other power sources. It essentially can make exploration and settlement a lot more convenient when used correctly given how solar panels are built to last.
It sets a good example for future generations
Imagine telling your children that they do not have to worry anymore about electricity or energy and teaching them a lesson on human resourcefulness. Solar energy is definitely the best way to do this. In addition, you also get to touch other topics such as pollutions, finite resources, economics, something to satiate the curiosity of your children.
Of course, once they know just how important the sun is as well as other aspects of the environment of Earth, then they know that their future is bright and secure. Solar energy is definitely one way to teach children the importance of nature and the luxuries it provides for free. This way, they could get a chance to grow up as responsible citizens and people of the world. Hopefully this makes them participative in saving the environment and the only home we humans currently have, Earth.
Now with all that said and done, we at SunPower also invite you to be a part of the solution by making an investment to go solar. Not only will you save your household from expenses, but you will also save the environment, which, in the long-term is a lot more important for the future of us all.
Check out our other posts and articles in the website to know your options and how to get your own self-sustaining solar energy emplacement in the house or a business establishment. Together, we can start a brighter future with the help of solar energy.