The Positive Impact of Solar Energy on the Environment

Switching to solar energy on a large scale would have a profound positive environmental impact.  Usually, the word environmental is used to refer to our natural environment. However, as social beings, our environment also includes towns and cities and the communities of people that live in them. Environmental quality includes all of these elements. Installing even one solar energy system can make a measurable improvement on every aspect of our environment.

Benefits to Health Environment

A 2007 analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) concluded that adopting solar energy on a large scale would significantly reduce emissions of nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide. They estimated that the United States could also prevent 100,995,293 CO2 emissions simply by replacing natural gas and coal with 100 GW of solar power.

In short, the NREL found that the use of solar power would result in fewer cases of pollution-related illnesses, as well as reduce cases of respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Further, that reduction in illness would translate into fewer lost workdays and lower healthcare costs.

Benefits to Financial Environment

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2016, the average American home consumed 10,766 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. The prices of energy also vary, by region, with New England paying the highest prices for both natural gas and electricity as well as having the highest percentage increase.

Average water prices are also increasing steadily.  As global warming decreases the supply of water, those prices increases will rise even more dramatically.  Solar electricity uses up to 89% less water than coal-powered electricity, which would help water prices remain more stable. 

Benefits to the Natural Environment

Solar energy causes up to 97% less acid rain than coal and oil, and up to 98% less marine eutrophication, which depletes water of oxygen. Solar electricity also uses 80% less land. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the environmental impact of solar energy is minimal compared to that of fossil fuel energy.

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab conducted a study from 2007 to 2015.  They concluded that within those eight years, solar energy had produced $2.5 billion in climate savings, another $2.5 billion in air pollution savings, and prevented 300 premature deaths.

Benefits to the Social Environment

Whatever the region, the one constant is that, unlike the fossil fuel industry, the positive Impact of Solar Energy is equally distributed to people at every socioeconomic level. All humans require clean air and clean drinking water to live long, healthy lives. With solar energy, the quality of life is improved for everyone, whether those lives are lived in a penthouse suite or in a modest mobile home.

Post time: Feb-26-2021