Use of solar energy is sustainable because it is a clean source of energy. Solar power generation does not release greenhouse gases into the air and water. Secondly, it is harnessed from the sun and not mined from limited land resources. Below we discuss the impact of fossil fuels on the environment and how solar energy helps in conserving the environment.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF fossil fuels on CLIMATE CHANGE?
First, fossil fuels emit gases which cause water, air, and soil pollution. The gases are detrimental to human and wildlife health causing various health conditions including respiratory and heart conditions. Secondly, climate change has many effects on the environment and the ecosystem. It affects animals and plants due to destabilizing the temperature equilibrium of the planet. As a result of climatic changes, the earth loses plant and animal species to extinction because of the species inability to adapt to the new climate.
Global warming leads extreme weather conditions like rising minimum and maximum temperatures on land and in the oceans, heavy hail and rain, rising sea levels, thawing permafrost, shrinking glaciers among others. Solar energy, on the other hand, produces no greenhouse gases to affect the ozone layer, therefore, it is an alternative renewable energy source.
Solar Energy Generates Clean and Renewable Energy
As many homes and organizations switch to solar energy, they minimize their reliance on fossil fuel electricity. Do you know that in the year 2018 about 63% of the electricity generated by utility companies was from fossil fuels? Moreover, coal is the main energy source in electricity generation and it is the main contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide increase. Fossil fuels have to undergo combustion to generate electricity. During combustion, fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases; carbon dioxide is the major harmful gas emitted. Greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming which result in climatic change. If more people convert to solar energy use, we can conserve the environment because fewer gases are released.
Transporting fossil fuels is expensive and it also causes air pollution. Sometimes accidents occur leading to spills on land. This is unlike solar energy that uses wires channeling to its destination if it is generated from a solar plant.
No Water Required to Generate Solar Power
Did you know that half of the water in Europe and the USA is used by electricity companies? Producing electricity from fossil fuels and nuclear power requires huge amounts of water. Thermal power plants require water drawn from seas, lakes, and rivers for cooling their power plants.
Solar power, on the contrary, requires no water to maintain the solar panels or generate electricity. If any water is required it is little for washing the solar panels after several months or even a year.
No Noise Pollution
Solar panels are noise-free in comparison to windmills and thermal power plants which are noisy. Turning of turbines and running of thermal generators causes noise pollution.
Solar Energy Generation
The sun produces solar energy unlike fossil fuels which are mined. Continuous use of fossil fuels leads to supply decline, this is unlike solar energy which is abundant. On the other hand, mining fossil fuel is a long process that involves mining which comes with the risk of roof collapse, gas poisoning, suffocation, and gas explosions.
During mining of fossil fuels, there is alteration of landscape and its surrounding environments.. It also causes resettlement of people and animals. Clearing of vegetation to pave way for generation of conventional electricity leads to alteration of the eco-system
Solar energy, on the other hand, makes use of rooftops or deserted land to install panels causing little disruptions to the landscape. .
Unlike thermal electricity, solar power generation requires few resources. Thermal power requires extensive human resource to mine the fossil fuels, transport to the power plants, feed and maintain the thermal power plants on a day to day basis. Therefore, if more homes will adapt the use of solar energy, the energy generated by utility companies from fossil fuels will reduce leading to conservation of environment.