If the environmental benefits of solar energy sound appealing to you, and you want to learn more, you’ve come to the right place.
To start, we’ve got good news for you: the buzz is real. Solar panels are indeed an eco-friendly source of energy. And by going solar, you can help the planet by reducing your carbon footprint.
Let’s touch on the basics about solar panels and get into why they’re a great choice for a greener lifestyle.
No fossil fuels released
The U.S. gets most of its non-renewable energy from fossil fuels. The problem? Fossil fuels must be burned to create energy. It’s the process of burning them at power plants that pollutes the air and water.
Compounding the pollution is mining, which is how fossil fuels are sourced. The mining industry is one of the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
The greenhouse gases produced trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, causing the temperature of the planet to rise. Some gases remain in the atmosphere for a few years, while others linger there for thousands of years. And the larger the greenhouse gas emission is, the higher the concentration of it is.
Solar panels, in contrast, don’t emit greenhouse gases when they generate energy. Producing solar power doesn’t require burning fossil fuels — or mining them, for that matter.
Clean, green energy production
When it comes to creating solar energy, the process is fairly simple. The solar panels absorb sunshine during daylight hours. This is accomplished without any moving parts, which is one reason why the process doesn’t pollute the air. Instead, solar cells in the panels are hit by photons inside of the sun beams. This activates an electrical current.
From there, a device called a microinverter converts the direct current (DC) generated by the panels into an alternating current (AC). This step is essential, because most homes need AC electricity. Finally, the solar energy generated powers components of your home.
Don’t worry, a properly installed rooftop solar energy system will do all this on its own. You don’t need to lift a finger.
A smaller carbon footprint
Chances are that your carbon footprint is bigger than you think. But guess what? Going solar is one of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint. This is partly because energy consumption has the unsettling distinction of being the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s also because using solar energy decreases your dependence on the dirty process of burning fossil fuels, as we mentioned earlier. Solar power is truly a clean, renewable and abundantly available source of energy.
That said, we need to clarify that manufacturing and transporting solar panels does have a carbon footprint. This is inevitable with any physical product. But since solar power systems don’t release greenhouse gas emissions when they produce energy, their carbon footprint is still smaller than that of traditional energy sources.
Use solar while you sleep
While a solar panel system can’t power components of your home at night or during a grid outage on its own, an array that has a battery backup can. The battery backup system stores excess energy generated by the solar panels, allowing you to use it later.
It’s important to note that the capacity of the backup battery at any given time will depend on how much of a charge it has. Another factor is the energy demands of the components it’s powering. For example, some appliances require more solar energy than others.
Powering your home with solar around the clock further reduces the amount of traditional electricity you need to use.
Getting green energy
When you go solar, you can fulfill your desire to be an ally for the planet. As a bonus, you might even be able to decrease your electric bill. Imagine that: renewable energy that’s good for the earth and for your family.
A Solar Energy Specialist can answer your questions about the impact using a solar panel system makes and help you start the process of going solar.