Today, we have many energy choices for our homes and businesses. In fact, we have so many options that sometimes these choices can be confusing. In 2017, ClimateMama will be sharing information on different forms of renewable energy, their benefits and opportunities. We are starting out our series with a guest post on Solar Energy from Arthur Smith and LEDwatcher.com
Why is solar energy so important to sustainability?
While most existing energy systems are based on fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) most new investment in energy sources being built around the world, is investment in renewable energy. According to Bloomberg, as wind and solar costs continue to drop these two technologies will become the cheapest ways of producing electricity in many countries during the 2020s and in most of the world by the 2030s. Fossil fuels are finite resources, even as humans use a wider and wider range of conventional and unconventional methods to crack, frack and pull the last dregs of these fuels from the ground. The pollution caused by these kinds of energy sources produce significant greenhouse gases, accelerating and exacerbating climate change. This not only destabilizes our planet, it also threatens our species and our existence. There is a huge need for renewable and sustainable energy sources such as solar power to slow down these threats to our planet and to us. These are only a few of the many reasons why solar energy is so important to sustainability.
Solar energy is a green, clean alternative to other energy sources
Solar power is much cleaner and environmentally friendly than other energy sources. The usage of solar energy doesn’t create carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases unlike the use of fossil fuels. In fact, solar power doesn’t release any pollution when it creates energy, therefore it doesn’t harm humans, the environment or the climate. The only way solar energy negatively impacts nature is during the manufacturing of solar panels. But, thanks to manufacturing technology innovations, this impact is small and continues to become smaller. Solar power provides clean, long lasting, renewable energy source, that won’t run out any time soon.
Solar energy is much safer than other energy sources
Solar energy is also considered a much safer power alternative because it is lot easier to produce and transport. Fossil fuel extraction causes serious health and safety threats to humans, including accidents in coal mines and fires on oil or gas drilling rigs. As well, non-renewable energy resource transportation and storage greatly endangers the environment and wildlife. For example, spillages from tankers and barges can kill ocean and freshwater wildlife, and pipelines and rail accidents and leaks are all too common occurrences. But, since photovoltaic solar cells create energy by simply absorbing photons from the sunlight and turning them into electrons, there is no direct way that the creation of this energy source can endanger us or the world around us.
Solar energy uses less resources to generate power
As solar power itself is an inexhaustible resource, it doesn’t use fossil fuels such as coal, oil or gas to generating electricity. Add to this the fact that a solar products lifespan, including solar panels and solar flood lights increases with every new solar innovation, you have got yourself one sustainability-promoting power resource!
Solar energy provides energy security
Solar energy is renewable and an inexhaustible resource. Solar power provides energy security and reduces our reliance on fossil fuels. As long as the sun is shining, we will have solar power. And, because solar energy is becoming more and more accessible, that means that every nation can diversify their energy supply, stimulating local economies as well as local energy security. As countries become less dependent on fossil fuel energy, conflicts based on access to fossil fuels will become a thing of the past.
In closing, Solar power provides better, cleaner and more independent energy. Utilizing renewable and inexhaustible energy is the way we can live more sustainable lives and create a more sustainable world.
Arthur Smith is a solar energy and lighting expert, who writes about renewable energy and LED lighting knowledge on his blog LEDwatcher.com.