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Health & Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy

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The environmental benefit of solar energy

Solar energy creates clean, renewable power from the sun and benefits the environment. Alternatives to fossil fuels reduce carbon footprint at home and abroad, reducing greenhouse gases around the globe. Solar is known to have a favorable impact on the environment.

Most of the electricity generated in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Extracting and using fossil fuels is expensive and harmful to the environment. By contrast, solar energy is free and readily abundant – if we could capture all of the sun’s energy shining on the Earth for just one hour, we could power the entire world for one year!

By investing in solar energy, you can help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in favor of one of the most abundant, consistent sources of energy we have available: our sun. 

Solar energy decreases greenhouse gas emissions

Generating electricity with solar power instead of fossil fuels can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). Greenhouse gases, which are produced when fossil
fuels are burned, lead to rising global temperatures and climate change. Climate change already contributes to serious environmental and public health issues in the Northeast, including extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and ecosystem changes.

By going solar, you can reduce demand for fossil fuels, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and shrink your carbon footprint. One home installing a solar energy system can have a measurable effect on the environment. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average home with solar panels in Connecticut uses 8,756 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. Switching from fossil fuels to solar power in the state has the same emissions reduction effect as planting 155 trees every year.

In New York, the average home uses 7,092 kWh of electricity annually. Choosing a clean source of electricity like solar panels can eliminate the same amount of carbon emissions that would result from burning 5,253 pounds of coal each year.

Solar energy reduces respiratory and cardio health issues

One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is that it results in very few air pollutants. An analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that widespread solar adoption would significantly reduce nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter emissions, all of which can cause health problems. NREL found that, among other health benefits, solar power results in fewer cases of chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and lost workdays related to health issues.

The benefits of solar energy are clear. Not only can you save money on your electric bills – you can also reduce your carbon footprint and improve the health of those around you.

source: EnergySage