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What do solar panels do to the environment?

For years now, we’ve known we need to start looking for other sources of energy, rather than our reliance on fossil fuels. Climate change is happening at an alarming rate, and finding renewable energy solutions is one of the ways we can reduce our impact on the environment. 

The use of solar panels to power a home is nothing new, but with advancements in technology and a reduction in installation costs, they are increasing in popularity every year. Once confined to those who wanted to live ‘off grid’, solar systems are now a popular choice for homes and businesses across the country. 

Up and down the country, there’s also been an increase in solar farms, all of which feels like a step in the right direction for our planet. But what do solar panels actually do for the environment?

Are solar panels good for the environment?

The shift away from fossil fuels can’t come quickly enough for the sake of the planet, and in short, any renewable energy source is good for the environment. While the shift away from non-renewable sources is beneficial to the earth as a whole, it’s good to understand exactly what solar panels do to the environment.

Using less water

You may wonder how does an energy source that uses the power of the sun help reduce water waste? Well, when understanding what solar panels do to the environment, it’s useful to know that traditional energy generation uses thousands of litres of water each year. Water is used for cooling machines, and processing fuels through pipes. Solar power on the other hand, doesn’t require the use of any water  – with the exception of a bucket every now and then to give your dirty panels a wash down!

Lowers air pollution

The air we breathe is so important for our health and wellbeing, and energy sources that use fossil fuels can generate harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and methane into our environment. Breathing low quality air each day has a huge impact on our health, and air pollution has been linked to several illnesses, including asthma and some cancers. 

By using solar panels as your energy source, you’re not releasing any harmful air pollution into the atmosphere, which is not only great news for our planet, but for our health too! 

Slowing climate change

We know we keep talking about the planet, but that’s because it’s so important. Installing solar panels in your home or business is a simple way to massively reduce your carbon footprint, and quickly. 

Burning toxic gases from fossil fuels increases the greenhouse effect on the earth’s atmosphere. While the greenhouse process is a natural occurrence which warms the earth to a liveable temperature, the use of non-renewable energy sources enhances this effect, meaning our earth is getting hotter, quicker than ever before. The greenhouse effect can be attributed to many environmental disasters, such as flooding and extreme heat and drought. 

Switching to solar power produces none of these harmful greenhouse gases, as there’s no burning of fuel or a release of emissions from energy production. This means you breathe easy knowing you’re doing your bit for the planet.

Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels

Amongst the obvious reasons to reduce our fossil fuel use, we also have to remember that they are a finite resource. Fossil fuels won’t last forever, and finding renewable sources of energy has never been more important.

One of the biggest benefits to the use of solar power is that the sun’s energy is infinite. To put it into context, if we found a way to capture all the sunlight shining on earth for one hour, the energy produced would power the whole world for a year. 

Taking advantage of the abundance of sunlight by installing a solar panel system could lead eventually to lower energy prices and a reliable solution to our energy crisis.

Minimise our reliance on the national grid

Traditional energy sources mean our homes and businesses rely on the national grid to supply the energy needed to run our appliances. 

This dependence on the National Grid not only means being subjected to energy prices, which are increasing year on year but also you may fall victim to any power cuts or outages. 

While solar panel installation may require some assistance from the grid in the first few years of being fitted, your reliance will decrease annually until you are eventually able to live entirely free of the National Grid.

You can enhance your self-sufficiency by installing solar panel batteries as part of your system. Solar batteries store any surplus electricity generated by your panels to be used at a later date, such as when it’s dark or when your home needs an energy boost.

If you’re ready to start your journey to a more sustainable way of life, get in touch with our team today.