Environmental Benefits of Going Solar

Written by U.S.SolarEnergy

Solar energy is one of society’s most essential tools for fighting climate change. While the financial benefits for homeowners who go solar are incredible, clean energy’s positive environmental impact is perhaps even more meaningful.

We currently rely on fossil fuels as a primary energy source – indeed, 80% of the world’s energy comes from oil, coal, and gas. But generating energy from fossil fuels requires drilling or digging into the Earth, causing lasting or permanent damage to the environment. Burning fossil fuels creates greenhouse gas emissions – namely carbon dioxide and methane gases – and worsens local air quality. Air pollution alone can cause asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, cancer, and other respiratory conditions. The cumulative effect has devastated the planet’s health and created an existential risk to future generations.

Solar panels create no harmful carbon emissions when generating electricity. Relying on solar means lower carbon emissions and cleaner air. One kW of solar power would offset the same amount of carbon as 40 new trees, and an average residential solar installation offsets the equivalent emissions of around 320 trees. Making solar panels requires a fraction of water resources. Once the panels are built, no water is used to generate energy. So not only does solar energy positively affect air pollution, but solar also saves natural resources such as our water supply.

Long-Term Sustainability:

Fossil fuels are finite and are continually becoming more challenging to find and access. Solar energy is renewable and abundant. It will never run out and is available across the planet. Enough sunlight hits the Earth in an hour to power the entire world for a full year.

Job Abundance and Worker Safety:

Another benefit of solar? The industry is creating millions of jobs across America. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 2.7 million jobs in the fossil fuel sector will be lost between now and 2030. Conversely, solar installation jobs are expected to grow by 52% during that same period. Globally, clean energy is estimated to net 10.5 million new jobs.

Notably, the solar industry provides higher-quality jobs than the fossil fuel sector. Research shows that solar jobs are widely available to those with or without a college degree and that people in the industry make higher wages than the national average. The clean energy industry will create more jobs and pay higher wages than the fossil fuel sector, all while protecting workers’ health.

Cost Efficiency:

While oil, gas, and coal prices skyrocket, solar energy and solar panels have never been cheaper. Over the past decade, the price of solar has plummeted by almost 80%, and federal incentives ensure that most customers can reduce the upfront costs by 30%. In some parts of the country, depending on additional state and local incentives, the final cost of your system could be reduced by over 70%. Energy prices are surging, and relying on solar to power your home can grant you long-term stability using a renewable energy source.

The power of the sun is infinite, and harnessing it using solar panels means tapping into sustainable, renewable energy that can save your family money for generations. Using solar energy to power your home can help improve air quality, conserve water, lower carbon and methane emissions, and help fight global warming. Beyond that, you save money and support an industry that will create millions of new high-paying jobs. The time has never been better to go solar.