Homeowners and utilities alike are choosing solar energy at a faster rate than ever before in the United States. The explosive growth of solar power is partly a result of the falling cost of solar panels. Rebates and incentives have also contributed to the United States’ biggest year ever for solar. But decreasing costs are only one of the many benefits of solar energy. You can also improve your health and protect the environment by reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and installing a solar energy system at your home or business.
The environmental benefit of solar energy
Solar energy creates clean, renewable power from the sun and benefits the environment. Alternatives to fossil fuels reduce carbon footprint at home and abroad, reducing greenhouse gases around the globe. Solar is known to have a favorable impact on the environment.
Most of the electricity generated in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Extracting and using fossil fuels is expensive and harmful to the environment. By contrast, solar energy is free and readily abundant – if we could capture all of the sun’s energy shining on the Earth for just one hour, we could power the entire world for one year!
Solar energy decreases greenhouse gas emissions
Generating electricity with solar power instead of fossil fuels can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). Greenhouse gases, which are produced when fossil fuels are burned, lead to rising global temperatures and climate change. Climate change already contributes to serious environmental and public health issues in the Northeast, including extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and ecosystem changes.
By going solar, you can reduce demand for fossil fuels, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and shrink your carbon footprint. One home installing a solar energy system can have a measurable effect on the environment. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average home with solar panels in Connecticut uses 8,280 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. Switching from fossil fuels to solar power in the state has the same emissions reduction effect as planting around 150 trees every year.
In New York, the average home uses 6,864 kWh of electricity annually. Choosing a clean source of electricity like solar panels can eliminate the same amount of carbon emissions that would result from burning about 5,000 pounds of coal each year.
Solar energy reduces respiratory and cardio health issues
One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is that it results in very few air pollutants. An analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that widespread solar adoption would significantly reduce nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter emissions, all of which can cause health problems. NREL found that, among other health benefits, solar power results in fewer cases of chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and lost workdays related to health issues.
The benefits of solar energy are clear. Not only can you save money on your electric bills – you can also reduce your carbon footprint and improve the health of those around you. Compare quotes today to see how much you can save by going solar.