Why Solar: Environmental Impact
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Although electricity is a modern-day necessity, power production methods that rely on fossil fuels cause harm to our environment. Solar power is a clean and efficient renewable energy alternative. Photovoltaic systems generate solar electricity by turning photons from the sun into usable energy, without causing the release of carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide are greenhouse gases (GHGs) and among the multiple pollutants that contribute to global warming and its associated health problems.
Reduce Poisonous Pollutants
Electricity produced through clean, renewable solar energy is electricity that is not produced from fossil fuels. The process of generating electricity from fossil fuels is the single largest contributor to air pollution in the United States. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
Generating electricity from fossil fuels produces nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM), carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), among other emissions. NOx, SO2, VOCs and PM are related to various respiratory diseases, including asthma and lung cancer.
NOx are precursors to ozone and nitrate particulate matter. When inhaled, NOx can irritate and damage the cells lining the deep regions of our lungs.
SO2 is a precursor to sulfate particulate matter. When inhaled, SO2 irritates the upper regions of the lungs. It is also a major contributor to acid rain, which causes environmental damage to aquatic and forest ecosystems.
VOCs react with NOx to create ozone. Ozone causes damage to the cells in the deep regions of our lungs. It can lead to decreased lung functions, increased hospitalizations and increased mortality risks.
PM 2.5 is considered more dangerous than coarse particulate matter (PM 10) since it is smaller and can get deeper into the lungs. Exposure to both fine and coarse particulate matter has been associated with various respiratory ailments, decreased lung function, increased hospitalizations and increased mortality risks.
Conserve Our Natural Resources
Solar energy helps avoid other problems associated with fossil fuel power plants. In addition to harming the air, natural gas and oil electricity generation affects local waterways. Natural-gas boiler and combined-cycle systems, and oil power plants require water for steam production and cooling. They release wastewater into nearby waterways harming fish and plants. When oil is burned in power plants, any residues that are not completely burned can accumulate, forming a source of solid waste that must be disposed of. Additionally, soot, a form of particulate matter, stains and damages stone and other materials, including culturally important objects such as monuments and statues. Smog contributes to visibility problems.
Build an Image as a “Green” Business
Solar photovoltaic systems benefit not only their owners, but also those in the community as well. For companies, “going green” it is an excellent way to demonstrate a commitment to corporate social responsibility. Investing in solar power tells your employees, partners, clients and the public that your company intends to be a lasting presence that has a positive effect on our society and environment. It will signal that you care about the health of our environment and its impact not only on our lives, but also on the lives of our children and generations to come.
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