If you have been looking for a way to make your house more sustainable, solar power is a great way to start. Once you get your panels installed, you’ll notice a drop in your utility bills and carbon footprint. But how exactly are solar power and sustainability the perfect match? What makes solar so popular among environmental activists?
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is more than just going green. It’s about making choices that are good for the health of the future economy, environment, and society. Making sustainable changes to your life means creating a viable planet for ourselves and future generations that the climate crisis continues to threaten.
What is Solar Power?
Solar power is energy derived from sunlight using photovoltaics. When the sunlight hits the cells in your solar panels, it converts the light into energy that powers your home. Many people are turning to this form of clean energy because burning fossil fuels for electricity is becoming too unreliable and harmful to the environment.
Ways Solar is Sustainable
Several factors make solar power a perfect match for sustainability. From using clean energy to giving back to the community, here are some of the most significant ways in which solar is sustainable:
The Sun is More Reliable
The sun has been around for quite some time now, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. This qualifies the sun as a renewable and free source of energy. On the other hand, traditional fossil fuels are non-renewable, and they’re running out fast. So soon, we won’t have anything else to rely on besides the sun.
Safe and Clean Energy Source
Solar power is a safe and clean energy source since it doesn’t pollute the air when it’s in use. By improving the air quality sooner rather than later, we can prevent heavy smog that is bad for our health. Plus, the Ozone layer has enough holes as it is. So waiting till it’s too late to go green can be detrimental.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
You’ve probably learned about your carbon footprint in school or on social media. It’s essentially a measurement of our greenhouse gas emissions, giving you a visual of your impact on the planet.
Figuring out your personal carbon footprint is an essential first step in determining how you can become more sustainable. For example, solar power can reduce yours significantly because it’s clean and safe.
You Can Give Back to the Community
When you have enough panels, your solar system may produce a surplus of electricity. This can be stored in batteries or sent back into the grid for the energy company to supply to others. Even energy companies know that fossil fuels won’t last, and they are doing what they can to limit their use. Plus, when you send energy to the grid, you reduce the country’s dependence on foreign supplies and promote energy independence.
Even though solar power has many benefits, there are some drawbacks that you should consider as you decide what is best for your family and the well-being of the planet your grandkids will inhabit:
Solar panel installation can cost tens of thousands of dollars, which has made it harder for lower-income families to use this clean energy source. However, to combat this lack of affordability, you have the option to finance the project or rent panels from a company. But keep in mind that renting disqualifies you from the solar investment tax credit, which gives you credit towards your tax bill for purchasing a solar system. But the tax credit won’t last forever, so you should take advantage while you can. After all, it can help make solar more affordable.
The Materials Aren’t Renewable
Making solar panels does release greenhouse gases, and some of the materials used are non-renewable. However, technology is constantly evolving, and scientists have no choice but to find renewable materials to create the panels, especially since solar power may be the primary source of energy in the future.
Your Carbon Debt Will Go Up
Since solar panel creation does release greenhouse gasses, it’s essential to recognize that your carbon debt will go up when you install them. However, without panels, your debt would be higher if you continued to burn fossil fuels for electricity. Plus, you will pay off your carbon debt over time by using clean energy.
Conclusion: Solar is Sustainable
Like any match in real life, there will be some drawbacks. However, the pros of solar energy far outweigh the cons. So while solar panels may release carbon during manufacturing, the long-term use of clean energy will significantly reduce the overall carbon emissions. Plus, fossil fuels are running low in supply. They’re unreliable, and so is the power grid any time the wind blows too hard in a thunderstorm. With solar power, you have reliable, safe energy at your fingertips.