People around the world are waking up to the need to transition to solar energy. Economic reasons aside, what drives this shift is the growing recognition of the environmental benefits of solar energy. You must have come across the green campaigners (and that includes us as well!) ranting on how necessary a shift it is for humanity to choose renewable energy over fossil fuels. Read on to know why Mother Earth would be grateful to you for choosing solar energy –
Greenhouse gases – the menace of Climate change
Unless you have been living in a cave away from civilization, it is unlikely that you haven’t heard of the monster of climate change and its principal cause – greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases, such as Co2, methane, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons, trap heat from leaving the earth’s surface, contributing to the rise in global temperature. The substantial increase of the presence of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere has given rise to global warming and other disturbing signs of climate change. Did you know that the average surface temperature of Earth has risen by about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit– take heed that even a minor shift in the global temperatures can have far-reaching, and even disastrous, effects on the planet, a few of which include melting of ice in the polar regions, sea level rise, warming oceans, oceanic acidification, increased incidence of natural calamities like hurricanes, intense rainfall etc – since the nineteenth century?
Fossil fuels – Major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions
Wonder what is the major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions? Yes, burning of fossil fuels it is. The current economic system, its roots going back to the Industrial Revolution, is built on the finite reserves of fossil fuels. Not only are we about to exhaust these limited reserves, but their unchecked burning, from which most needs of energy including those of electricity are met, has led to the menace of climate change.
Did you know that on an average a 50 KW solar array prevents about 72 tonnes of Co2 from being released into earth’s atmosphere? Can’t you feel the gratitude from the land and its oceans already!
Well, here are a few other environmental benefits of solar energy
1. No thermal and water pollution – Conventional power plants usually employ water from nearby lakes and rivers for cooling. This water when returned to the water sources, understandably, disrupts the many aquatic life-forms of these water bodies. Solar power plants do not pose this threat.
2. Safe for birds and other wildlife – Neither do solar panels have moving parts nor do they emit harmful gases – installing solar panels has no reported negative impact on birds and other wildlife species.
3. Zero emissions of toxic gases – Fossil fuels are to be blamed for the emissions of toxic elements like mercury and sulfur into air and water bodies. Switching to solar energy doesn’t cause this issue.
4. No smog or local airborne particulates – Generation of electricity via solar cells happens through photovoltaic effect and, thus, involves no burning whatsoever, freeing the atmospheric air from the burden of bearing any airborne particulates and preventing the formation of the much-dreaded smog.
So, aren’t solar panels the best way to profess your love to Planet Earth and her staggeringly beautiful eco-systems? Share your views in the comments.