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Apr 16

The Science Behind How Solar Panels Are Saving the Environment

solar panelsOur modern society has become almost cripplingly dependent on power generated by fossil fuels, such as coal and oil. As we speak, nearly 40 percent of the energy consumption in the United States comes from homes and businesses. However, most of this energy consumption causes massive amounts of pollution to the water and air. Additionally, the byproducts of the power production processes involving both fossil and nuclear fuels include hazardous materials that require safe disposal.

Solar panels are a viable solution to this problem. They capture the abundant energy of the sun and use that energy to power our homes and businesses. Solar energy is abundant in the U.S. According to PCS Energy, solar Los Angeles, the amount of sunlight falling on the U.S. is more than 2,500 times the entire country’s daily consumption. Doesn’t it then make sense to make the most out of solar technology?

There are various ways in which using solar panels would contribute to saving the environment from its current situation. These include the following situations.

Air Pollution

Fossil fuels are well known to contribute massively to the pollution of the air. Most of the energy production and consumption processes involving fossil fuels release harmful gases into the air, including nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide, which is the most harmful of the three. Add to these dust particles and mercury and you can see how bleak the situation is.

These pollutants cause acid rain, contaminated water bodies and habitats, smog, and global warming. By using solar panels, we can reduce this pollution by making the use of fossil fuels unnecessary.

Water Pollution

More than 70 percent of toxic water pollution in the U.S. comes from electricity produced from coal. Some of the toxins released into waterways include mercury, cadmium, boron, selenium, and arsenic. While there are recommendations to implement filtration systems to stem this pollution, a majority of coal-based power plants do not heed those recommendations.

Solar panels would bypass the need to implement corrective procedures in these industries as their activities would be reduced by a lack of demand. You certainly won’t have to worry about waterways being polluted as you use your solar panels.

Hazardous Waste

The production processes involving coal and oil are wasteful, producing oil sludge and ash from coal. These wastes contain hazardous amounts of heavy metals. This waste is put in landfills for long-term storage. However, much of the time, the waste leaches into the environment and affects both plant and animal life. Solar panels reduce the amount of power needed from such wasteful processes.

Environmental Destruction

Most of the coal in the U.S. is mined via a method known as surface mining. This is a destructive mining process that has led to the destruction of hundreds of thousands of acres of forest land and thousands of miles of waterways. The transportation of the mined coal to the power plants consumes energy and leads to even more destruction. The waste left behind by the mining process is nothing but an eyesore.

Solar panels would negate the need for surface mining as no fossil fuels would need to be mined. The environment would, therefore, be spared from the destruction.

Summing Up

The sun isn’t running out of energy any time soon. We can keep harvesting its light for many millions of years to come. While solar energy is still expensive, compared to fossil-fueled energy, it will inevitably grow cheaper as more businesses adopt the technology.

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